Mr Gilbert TanChief Executive Officer, e2i
CEO Statement 20172017 was a fruitful journey where we witnessed the resilience of our workforce amidst the pursuit to transform our economy and create new job opportunities. While our economy had indeed picked up in tandem with the global upturn, the growth was uneven across sectors. The business world remained volatile in the face of technological disruptions and changing business models with restructuring as a continuing process to meet the demands of Industry 4.0. While these transitions are necessary for us to stay competitive and relevant, it is most painful on the ground. For change to be effective, timely support has to reach the workforce to ease the transition. To withstand these challenges and be ready for future jobs, the workforce must reskill and upskill both within and across industries.
Job matching and placementWith career switching increasingly becoming a norm in today’s dynamic employment landscape, supporting workers in their transition to the next job is crucial in helping them secure a better job and to adjust in a new role. To empower job seekers in their search for the next suitable job, e2i had worked with the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) to support their hiring for Training Officers via a customised Work Trial programme to ease job seekers into the environment and understanding of the job. It allows the job seeker to better understand what the job entails and therefore, enabling them to make a more informed decision before committing. To recruit for candidates under the programme, e2i organised a half-day career fair and saw 40% of shortlisted candidates being offered full-time employment with MINDS.
In helping workers navigate their career pathways, e2i has built the U Career Network (UCN) which comprises a network of Employability Coaches, Ambassadors, Industry Mentors and community leaders, to provide information, career direction and support students and workers at each stage of their career needs. Through the UCN, we expanded the reach of our career guidance and training advisory to benefit the community, Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), NTUC affiliated unions, professional networks and trade associations through various touchpoints.
To expand the networks in UCN and enhance collaborations with Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) – a major source of employment for Singaporeans, e2i and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to engage SMEs in upskilling workers to align with the national SkillsFuture movement and to support SMEs in operationalising the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs), rolled out by the government, to move towards Industry 4.0. Through SCCCI, e2i can connect to Trade Associations (TAs) and reach out to more business owners to help with manpower support and skills upgrading of their employees. By harnessing the strength of UCN with TAs, a first-of-its-kind career fair was jointly organised with 18 TAs, which saw 65 SMEs participating offering over 1,000 job opportunities for Singaporeans.
Preparing Workers for Tomorrow’s Jobs Through Training InitiativesIn supporting workers and industries to transit into the Industry 4.0 transformation, 2017 calls for greater need for training and upskilling to combat the challenges of technological disruptions and changing business models.
To enhance our employment and employability solutions, e2i made a breakthrough in our partnership efforts by signing the first MOU with an overseas establishment, the Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement (KIRIA). The new partnership opens the pathway to foster close working relationships with government agencies and industries in Korea, which facilitates more business and cross-training opportunities for the growing robotics industry in Singapore and Korea. Riding on this MOU, e2i can better address the employment and employability needs of workers by collaborating with KIRIA to create training programmes and co-organise knowledge sharing sessions to assist workers in acquiring relevant skills that enhance their employability in the workforce. The MOU also provides greater support for the introduction of suitable system integrators and solution providers into Singapore’s market to encourage the adoption of robotics and automation solutions, which can help to enhance the productivity of workers and workplaces.
With the intent to provide an opportunity for Singaporeans to gain a better understanding of robotics through hands-on experience, e2i had co-organised the Robotics Day 2017 with Singapore Polytechnic (SP). The event facilitated knowledge sharing between industry speakers and SMEs and included the launch of e2i’s newly developed robotics outreach booklet, which serves as a information and resource kit to facilitate SMEs on the know-how process to adopt robotics solutions for their businesses; professors from SP to share on their domain knowledge on the functionality and benefits of robots through a series of showcase; and an AI-enabled robotic class where SMEs can learn software programming, computational coding languages and gain hands-on experience to make and operate AI-enabled robots in simulated work environment.
Beyond engaging in the realm of robotics, e2i partnered with Chinese Internet giant Alibaba, which had chosen Singapore as the first country in Southeast Asia to launch their e-commerce masterclasses, to help our workers and industry players ride on the emerging e-commerce industry. In partnership between Alibaba Business College, Nanyang International Business College, e2i and NTUC LearningHub, the partners hope to train e-commerce talents and uplift the adoption of e-commerce in Singapore so that businesses and workers can gain a competitive edge on global e-commerce markets. To kickstart close collaborations in identifying and closing knowledge and skills gaps of working individuals and SME business owners, the partners also affirm their commitment through inking of a MOU.
Creating Value-added Jobs and Improving Quality of Jobs Through Productivity InitiativesAs the economy advances, businesses naturally restructure to stay competitive and relevant to both present and future needs. With business models still adapting to the revolving economy, some jobs are inevitably rendered redundant. Albeit the redundancies, the same market forces and changes pave the way for new job opportunities. Beyond training and upskilling to prepare workers for future jobs, the creation of value-added jobs and quality enhancements to existing jobs can uplift the workforce together with economic growth and transformation.
To create higher value jobs during periods of economic restructuring and enhance the employability of workers – especially low-wage workers performing menial tasks, e2i had partnered with its network of employers to redesign job processes through automation and technology adoption. Among these companies assisted by e2i, Montreux Patisserie Pte Ltd, a local bakery, was one such example where company had tapped on the Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP) to address its operational inefficiencies. With the intent to enhance workers’ jobs, Montreux Patisserie collaborated with e2i to adopt an automated machinery which helped centralise production operations and build integrated workflow plans. Prior to implementing the project, workers in Montreux Patisserie required high manpower hours for different manual and tedious tasks. The investment of the machinery had raised productivity by 30% and had helped redesigned work processes to one that is physically less demanding.
These productivity-led gains were shared with the low-wage workers to raise their wages. Besides pushing for a better living through higher wages on behalf of the working people, these projects co-partnered between e2i and employers also helped in uplifting workers through the creation of better jobs. In Montreux Patisserie, workers were not only trained to operate these new machineries but they were also able to perform higher value tasks such as inventory management and quality checks on end-products as a result of job redesign. Despite the economic challenges, it was heartening to see companies come forth in their partnerships with e2i to improve quality of jobs and create higher-value jobs to help both the workforce and business transit to the future economy.
As Solution Provider and Enabler to Empower Future WorkforceWith the advent of technology disruptions, the needs and ways of learning have transformed. In collaboration with IHLs, Professional Guilds and training providers, e2i launched ULeap (Learning Enabled through Active Participation) – a mobile learning platform that is set to revolutionise learning. Targeted at adult learners, they can learn on the go, generate and share content within the learning communities. The future of learning will be crowdsourced, bite-sized and just-in-time. Since its launch in late 2017, there are now over 50 e-learning modules and resources on the platform. ULeap will leverage the UCN to bring speed-to-market learning to working people, and activate the pool of industry mentors and career advisors to exchange knowledge on the mobile platform.
As the employment landscape shifts and we move into a digitalized economy, e2i played the role of a key mobiliser for the national SkillsFuture movement – SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace, which impacted close to 2,000 Singaporeans and the SkillsFuture Advice, which impacted approximately 5,000 Singaporeans in 2017 – to equip the local workforce with the necessary tools and skillsets to take ownership of their skills upgrading journey to stay relevant and future-ready. When SkillsFuture Singapore launched MySkillsFuturePortal, e2i developed an in-house training, Optimise your Career via MySkillsFuture Portal to help workers and job seekers navigate the portal and make sense of their Personal Assessment results and formulate their career plan.
Putting workers in the heart of what it does, e2i has impacted over 600,000 individuals through a myriad of customised solutions. e2i continues to work with its tripartite partners in its mission to create better jobs, support workers to be better workers, and match better workers to better jobs. Bearing a critical role as the aggregator creating employment and employability solutions for companies and individuals, e2i will continue to help Singaporean workers, by tapping on its strong and growing networks within and around the Labour Movement, as it strives to empower more workers with better jobs for better lives.