Despite the economic slowdown, some 16,300 enterprises took up capability development projects in 2016.
According to a press release by SPRING Singapore, the projects (some 16,700 projects) are expected to create some 21,400 skilled jobs and $7.8 billion in value added to the economy when completed. Compared to 2015, these represented increases of 43% and 13% respectively.
The projects were supported by SPRING via the Capability Development Grant (CDG) and Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV), with productivity improvement and technology innovation being a key focus of majority of the projects supported.
Of the 16,700 projects embarked on by the 16,300 enterprises, 2,400 were supported through the CDG. Almost twice the number of projects supported through CDG in 2015 and is the highest number of CDG projects supported over the last five years.
Re-skilling and up-skilling workers
Last year, SPRING also launched the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) for the retail, food services and food manufacturing sectors.
Additionally, it worked with various agencies to drive transformation in the logistics and precision engineering sectors.
"Innovation and productivity remain pivotal in driving growth for SMEs while internationalisation is a key strategy for businesses to scale up and expand beyond our shores," the statement noted.
Another key pillar of the ITMs concerns re-skilling and up-skilling workers to take on quality jobs that are created.
Businesses supported by SPRING are committed to this as well as upgrading their overall HR capabilities, with about 270 SMEs having used the HR diagnostic tool to diagnose gaps in their HR policies and practices.
Furthermore, SMEs supported by SPRING embarked on some 920 human capital related projects in areas such as strengthening core HR functions like compensation and benefits, performance management, and recruitment and selection.
SPRING also supported over 1,000 internships to help about 270 SMEs attract young talent.
Moving forward, this year, SPRING will focus on the implementation of the ITM strategies to drive industry transformation, while scaling up promising SMEs, strengthening Singapore’s position as a startup hub and enhancing the business ecosystem to support enterprise growth.
Chief executive of SPRING, Poon Hong Yuen, said: "The success of local enterprises is critical to Singapore's economy. Together with our partners, SPRING is committed to supporting enterprises to grow and to upgrade their capabilities."
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