To help workers reskill, upskill and remain competitive as industries transform technologically and digitally, Singapore’s unions are working with businesses to set up Company Training Committees (CTCs), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) secretary-general Ng Chee Meng.
Mr Ng made this statement on 12 Jun at the 108th session of the international labor conference in Geneva, Switzerland, where he spoke on how Singapore’s labor movement is taking practical steps to realize the concept of “Worker 4.0” – one who has a combination of adaptive, technology and technical sets so that one can be more productive, increase value to businesses and earn better wages
He mentioned that the unions have already formed more than 50 CTCs and is hoping to have a total of 1,000 CTCs in companies within three years.
Mr Ng introduced the 3As and 3Ws the CTCs aim to achieve. First, accelerate the Acceptance of technology with a formalised two-way platform to discuss how technology can benefit both the businesses and our workers. It will help workers overcome the fear of technology.
With CTCs in place, there will be a better understanding of companies’ transformation plans and training needs for workers to acquire relevant technology skills. Mr Ng elaborated. To accelerate the Adoption of technology, he noted that NTUC is currently helping companies access Government grants up to 80% of the costs.
Quoting on the recent changes to the Enterprise Development Grant, Mr Ng further elaborated that companies must now commit to training workers and sharing gains with workers to enjoy grants from the government.
He pointed out that CTCs will also help accelerate the Actualization of transformation efforts to boost the value of businesses and reward workers in the form of 3Ws; better wages, welfare and work prospects. This is also in line with ILO’s Global Commission on the Future of Work report to have a human-centered agenda and drive lifelong learning for a stable and just future of work.
He also reiterated the importance of having a strong tripartism to the efforts to train better workers for the future.
With the support from the Tripartite, Singapore can further ‘reinvigorate our social contract and strengthen our social dialogue’ to bring the future of work into reality today,’ Mr Ng concluded his speech at the conference.