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Singtel invests S$45mn to boost digital skills, opens new space to facilitate learning

Singtel has announced an investment of S$45 million over three years to deepen the digital skills of its 12,600 employees in Singapore.

In a media release, the communications technology group stated that this is part of its effort to enable them to thrive in the digital economy.

The initiative, dubbed ACT, aims to accelerate employee learning and skills development, empower employees to co-create their skills pathways, and transform employee roles to ensure they remain relevant in the digital economy.

Accelerating employee learning and skills development

To support the ACT initiative, Singtel recently launched a digital learning app called 'CURIOUS' to help employees on their digital learning journeys.

With curated learning channels containing some 100,000 courses and videos covering topics from technology to leadership, the app will complement classroom sessions and on-the-job training. This enables staff to develop new competencies in areas such as analytics, automation and design thinking, in a shorter time.

CURIOUS also allows employees at every stage in their careers the flexibility of customising their learning experience according to their individual needs.

Empowering employees to co-create their skills pathways

Singtel employees will also be empowered to develop skillsets to match the needs of the digital economy. For example, the ‘4G to 5G Pathways’ course will prepare network engineers for 5G, equipping them with new 5G skills.

Additionally, all full-time staff will get two days of leave each year to attend SkillsFuture courses.

By early 2020, some 3,000 Singtel staff are set to benefit from a customised SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace programme aimed at strengthening their digital skills.

Transform employee roles to ensure they remain relevant in the digital economy

As Singtel's businesses and operations evolve, job roles change. Singtel is proactively helping employees to re-skill and take on new or enhanced roles that will support its strategic business priorities. For example, mid-career IT systems consultants have managed to re-skill themselves as IT security consultants supporting customers in cyber security solutions.

Employees are also being trained to create bots that can help in repetitive and time-consuming tasks such as resolving common technical issues encountered on customers’ premises or automating claims processing. This frees them up to focus on higher value activities and take on new responsibilities.

In the past year, over 600 employees have undergone skills conversion to take on new roles through initiatives like the Professional Conversion Programme and Company-Led Training programmes. Another 1,000 employees are expected to do so by early 2020.

Singtel’s Group Chief Human Resources Officer, Aileen Tan said: "With technology and our industry evolving so quickly, constant re-skilling and retraining is critical. The ACT initiative is designed to help our employees deepen their digital capabilities as we accelerate our digital transformation efforts. This includes programmes that encourage them to embrace continuous learning and actively manage their professional development in anticipation of longer career spans. This will ensure we have an agile, future-ready workforce that can meet the demands of the new economy."

A three-year MOU with the UTES and a new facility for training

To implement the ACT initiative, yesterday (12 September), Singtel signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Union of Telecoms Employees of Singapore (UTES) on the formation of a Company Training Committee (CTC).

The ceremony took place at the newly opened Singtel@8George. Officially opened yesterday, Singtel@8George serves as a facility for Singtel's employees to come together to learn, ideate and innovate.

Located on the site of the former City Exchange, which was one of Singapore’s earliest telephone exchanges, Singtel@8George has four levels of multifunctional and interactive spaces for activities such as training, team building workshops, townhalls and hackathons.

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Since embarking on its digital transformation in 2012, Singtel has digitalised its core consumer and enterprise businesses as well as developed new growth drivers in the areas of digital marketing and cyber security. It is also building out a regional digital ecosystem in mobile financial services and gaming, and leveraging analytics and artificial intelligence to improve customer service and customer engagement.

Photo / SingtelLead photo caption: The ACT initiative aims to Accelerate employee learning and skills development, empower employees to Co-create their skills pathways and Transform employee roles to ensure they remain relevant in the digital economy. From L-R: Ng Kuo Pin, CEO, NCS; Aileen Tan, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, Singtel; Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO, Consumer Singapore, Singtel; Heng Chee How, Advisor, UTES & Deputy Secretary-General, NTUC; Chua Sock Koong, Group CEO, Singtel; Ng Chee Meng, Secretary General, NTUC; Thuvinder Singh, General Secretary, UTES; Roger Tan, President, UTES; Joshua Benjamin, General Treasurer, UTES; Vicky Wong, Deputy CEO, e2i; Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary General, NTUC.

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