Why company-led training is a handy tool in the upskilling big picture
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Why company-led training is a handy tool in the upskilling big picture

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This article is brought to you by Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

With tech talent in demand today, here's how programmes such as TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA)'s Company-Led Training (CLT) help employers like Tunity Technologies upskill their employees to build their tech pipelines.

According to a Michael Page report released in 2019, more employers in Singapore are seeking to hire roles such as data scientists, digital marketing managers, IT security leads, and marketing managers, placing these roles in greater demand today.

With this trend set to only get more important, employers are putting greater emphasis on the professional development of their tech talent than ever before. A greater number of companies are thus taking steps to upskill and reskill their existing talent to meet these demands — in the form of leadership training, certifications, technical skills training, and more. To facilitate this training need, several forward-thinking employers are stepping up to the challenge to build learning ecosystems.

For such employers, help is readily available - in the form of the Company-Led Training (CLT) programme, under the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) initiative. The CLT helps firms accelerate the tech skills of fresh to mid-level employees. It does so by providing support for tech talent to acquire competencies for in-demand tech jobs, especially for industries that are undergoing digital transformation.

The ins and outs of company-led training

TeSA is driven by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), with the help of government agencies like Workforce Singapore (WSG) and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), in collaboration with the industry and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). The initiative works to develop a skilled ICT workforce for Singapore and to enhance employability for individuals.

The CLT programme enables employers to provide structured training to employees, in line with Singapore's ICT Skills Framework. This includes the development of tech skills in new areas like Artificial Intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, blockchain, and more.

Companies can sign up to become training partners, providing training lasting up to 12 months through a combination of on-the-job training, job rotations, local and/or overseas attachment by industry partners, as well as in-depth training through internal and/or external courses. As partners, they will receive funding support for qualified items such as monthly stipends for trainees and fees for training or courseware development.

At the end of the training, trainees will be equipped with competencies for tech job roles in demand, aligned to the Skills Framework for ICT. Since its launch, the CLT programme has also been expanded to support digital leadership capabilities development, which fulfils a demand for talent in one of the most up-and-coming sectors in Singapore.

One company that has benefitted from the CLT programme is Tunity Technologies, a radio-frequency identification (RFID) solutions provider based in Singapore.

On the reason why the firm opted in for CLT, Lim Peck Hui, Managing Director, Tunity Technologies (pictured above, right), says: "“Tunity decided to undergo this programme because it not only supports our movement and passion to provide on-the-job RFID and IoT training (especially to employees who are new to this industry), it also funds part of the hiring cost."

One of Tunity's staff who has undergone the programme is Zack Tan (pictured above, left), who was hired by Tunity Technologies as a trainee of the CLT programme in May 2018.

During the year-long programme, Zack benefited from on-the-job training and exposure while working on real-life cases. He was thus able to build up his knowledge and capabilities in programming, RFID and IoT technologies, and more.

In fact, from someone who had no computer programming experience, Zack successfully became an IoT software specialist at the end of the programme, with the close guidance of the software team lead.

Lim affirms: "“For a fresh graduate, his progress was certainly above average. He was willing to work on numerous software-programming activities, starting from maintaining existing products to development of new projects.

"We guided him and provided him with the necessary support across the various teams, from software, sales to projects. We are happy to have been able to provide Zack with the learning platform and opportunities during this one-year CLT programme. We are also grateful for the CLT grant support," she adds.

Following this success, Lim urges other employers to consider enrolling in the programme as well, as she believes it opens up channels of candidates to firms, allowing them to access a larger pool of talent.

Besides, the programme is designed in a way that is a win-win situation for both the employee and the employer. It provides employers with the confidence to hire and try out candidates from different industries.

It also gives employees the chance to test out working at the particular company or industry they’ve joined, to see if it is a good fit for them, she adds. "Most practically, it pays companies to try out new candidates and see if they fit the organisation," she concludes, building a case for employers to opt in for company-led training as a viable path to upskilling new employees.

Photo / from L-R: Tunity Technologies' team, Zack Tan and Lim Peck Hui

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