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NTUC Sec-Gen Ng: Company Training Committees will address fears about technology

In continuous efforts to equip Singapore's workforce with the relevant skills for Industry 4.0 and beyond, unions in the country are partnering with businesses to set up Company Training Committees (CTCs), to work towards reskilling and upskilling employees.

This was shared by NTUC Secretary-General (SG) Ng Chee Meng yesterday, in his speech at the 108th session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said: "The receptiveness by companies has been encouraging. In only three months, we now have more than 50 CTCs formed. Our aim is to have 1,000 CTCs in companies within three years."

These CTCS will address the current fear in workers that the rise of technology would result in a loss of jobs. SG Ng explained: "While I understand their fear, actually, technology creates a bigger economic pie, and a bigger economic pie creates more jobs, and better jobs. But we must help to shift this fear mindset."

He summarised the work of these CTCs into 3As: acceptance of technology; adoption of technology; and actualisation of technology.

These are detailed below:

Acceptance of technology

According to SG Ng, these CTCS will help accelerate the acceptance of technology, with a formalised two-way platform to discuss how technology can benefit both the businesses and the workers, helping them overcome the fear of technology.

Adoption of technology

Following the acceptance of technology, the CTCs will help accelerate the adoption of technology, to provide a better understanding of companies' transformation plans and the training needs for workers to acquire relevant technology skills.

He added: "To give this effort a boost, NTUC is helping companies access government grants to adopt technology, up to 80% of the costs. In fact, the Singapore government recently announced changes to the Enterprise Development Grant at our May Day Rally.

"Companies must now commit to training workers and also sharing gains with workers in order to enjoy grants from the government. This is indeed welcomed news."

Actualisation of technology

Once technology has been accepted and adopted, the CTCs will then help in accelerating the actualisation of companies' transformation efforts. In turn, this would help create value for businesses, and more importantly result in better wages, welfare and work prospects for workers.

"This is also in alignment with International Labour Organisation's Global Commission on the Future of Work report to have a human-centred agenda and drive lifelong learning for a stable and just future of work," he said.

Tripartite efforts play a key role in boosting training agenda

In achieving the above, SG Ng highlighted the importance of the "strong tripartism" in Singapore. "With the support of our employers and government, we can further reinvigorate our social contract and strengthen our social dialogue further to bring the future of work into reality today and turn it into a strategic advantage for a small country like Singapore."

He also stressed that in Singapore, economic growth would prove meaningless if it isn't shared with the workers. He added: "We know that when businesses win, our economy wins and when our economy wins, more importantly, our workers win. This creates a sustainable tripartite model to anchor economic success for country, businesses and workers."

Photo / NTUC

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