Labour Movement operationalising ITM by gearing up workers for Industry 4.0 transformation

NTUC’s e2i and OPEC Cluster partner NTU PaCE College and Singapore Polytechnic to equip workforce with critical skills and competencies to be future-ready

  1. 24 July 2018, Tuesday - The Manufacturing industry is facing a revolutionary change whereby computers and automation have come together to transform the way work processes operate. Digitalisation of the industry is largely driven by disruptions such as rise in data volumes, connectivity and wide networks, emergence of analytics and business-intelligence capabilities, as well as touch interfaces and augmented reality systems etc.
  1. Industry 4.0 brings about much potential to improve the productivity and sustainability for companies in the Manufacturing industry and will benefit manufacturers, especially Small and Medium Enterprises, as many of these digital technologies make more sense for industrial application now with higher reliability and lower costs. There is also a shift in the skill sets required for the workforce as automation reduces the heavy reliance on low-skilled and manual work. Workers will need to align their skill sets to keep pace with the industry, through up-skilling or re-skilling to acquire new knowledge and competencies for higher-value work or new job functions.
  1. The National Trades’ Union Congress’ (NTUC) e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and Labour Movement’s Oil, Petrochemical, Energy & Chemical (OPEC) Cluster, together with industry partners, are rolling out a series of new training initiatives to strengthen the skills and competencies of Singaporeans, and preparing companies and the workforce to be future-ready as the Manufacturing industry transforms. This is one of the Labour Movement’s new initiatives under the Training Council and its Manufacturing Training Committee which oversee the training and employment needs of workers across the industries under the 23 Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs).
  1. The new training initiatives include:
    • The launch of the PIDA Advanced Manufacturing Framework – which serves to guide companies and workers to acquire a series of critical Industry 4.0 skill sets to help them develop their competencies in 4 key areas namely, Process Automation, Internet of Things, Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. The framework is aligned to the various manufacturing Industry Transformation Maps (ITM), and it also recommends courses curated by various Institutes of Higher Learning and Training Providers to deep skill and prepare companies and individuals for new Industry 4.0 technologies;The new training initiatives include:
    • A new way of learning via bite-sized modules which take the form of short 2-hour seminar series and mobile learning via NTUC’s ULeap (Learning Enabled through Active Participation) app. This 20 seminar series, covering a wide range of 17 topics, is curated in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore’s (NTU Singapore) College of Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE College). Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation in Industry 4.0 issued by NTU upon attending at least 3 seminars in the same topic. A total 4 Certifications will be awarded. Workers can also access the materials via 21 bite-sized learning resources via NTUC’s ULeap app for just-in-time and on-the-go learning; and
    • To help Laboratory Technicians and Process Technicians acquire professional certification via the Assessment-Only Pathway (AOP) and bite-sized approach. For existing workers with many years of experience, they will be assessed by Singapore Polytechnic (SP) for their competencies. Those who are qualified will receive the professional certification as Laboratory Technicians. For those with specific skills gaps, they may sign up for any of the 10 bite-sized modules (4 hours each) to bridge their skills gaps before receiving the professional certifications. New entrants can complete the full version of the 10 modules (7 hours each) before receiving their certification by SP. A similar track will also be available for Process Technicians in the next few months.
  1. Two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) were inked today between e2i, OPEC Cluster and (i) NTU PaCE College and (ii) SP respectively to affirm commitment amongst the partners to continue to curate and deliver bite-sized horizontal skills and functional skills training which come with certification for workers. Approximately 1,500 PMETs are expected to benefit from the two training initiatives which are supported by the NTUC-Education and Training Fund (NETF).
  1. The MOU signing, which took place at an Industry 4.0 seminar, was witnessed by NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General, Dr Koh Poh Koon. The event is part of the OPEC Week’s series of activities, comprising a career fair for the OPEC and Biomedical industries, a Major Hazards symposium, a Industry 4.0 seminar and three Masterclasses. First launched in 2017, this year’s week-long event is the collaborative effort and commitment between the tripartite partners and employers to bring training and job opportunities to both the industry practitioners and locals who are considering a career in the Energy and Chemical sectors.
  1. “As businesses transform and move into digitalisation, new skill sets emerge to address industry needs. The learning landscape has also evolved with adult learners now being able to access and acquire new and updated knowledge quickly in bite-sized formats. To operationalise the ITMs, NTUC’s e2i, together with the OPEC Cluster and our industry partners will continue to identify knowledge and skill gaps, develop new training initiatives and approaches to professionalise and help our local workforce to deepen their competencies, and to prepare them to take on new and higher-value roles,” said Mr Gilbert Tan, Chief Executive Officer of e2i.
  1. Mr K. Karthikeyan, Chairman of the Labour Movement’s OPEC Cluster, said, “Together with NTUC’s e2i and the Labour Movement’s training network partners such as NTU PaCE College and Singapore Polytechnic, we are pleased to roll out new training initiatives to benefit our local workers. The new AOP and bite-sized training modules approach will allow the OPEC workforce to acquire new skill sets at a faster speed, with opportunities to be able to cross deploy to other job functions within the same company. On top of that, existing Laboratory and Process Technicians can now have their skills endorsed by international professional bodies.”