CEO Statement - Employment and Employability Institute

Mr Gilbert Tan

Chief Executive Officer

Transformation – an era of purpose-driven change

Over the years, e2i has witnessed several industries undergo major transformations, and supported many more companies and workers impacted by this constant wheel of change. Many of the businesses and partners that we have worked with can easily tell you one thing – transformation can be a painful process. It requires eliminating old mindsets, old ways of doing things, restructuring and reskilling workforces, and taking the courage to pilot new technologies and solutions.

Transformation is not just a one-time event, but rather, is an era of purpose-driven strategic changes, and Singapore is no stranger to transformation.

Singapore has progressed beyond the industrial stage towards a knowledge-based economy, with Industry 4.0 now coming in as an unstoppable rising tide. Once unfamiliar terms – the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotics has gradually become part of our regular vernacular. This phenomenon presents us with huge challenges, but within huge challenges lie many opportunities for growth.

Partnering Singapore by creating an inclusive transformation ecosystem

However, one thing that has and will constantly set Singapore apart from the rest of the world is our pursuit of inclusive growth, while inequality has increased worldwide due to globalisation. e2i seeks to anchor ourselves as a partner in Singapore’s transformation journey by creating an inclusive transformation ecosystem that works towards a win-win-win situation as much as possible.

We want a win for our employers – for companies to be more competitive and gain access to quality manpower. We want a win for our workers – to continue to provide support for workers in their job search journey and provide access to jobs that are more secure. Most importantly, we want a win for Singapore – to have both the economy and people moving forward together at the same pace, bringing about inclusive growth for the country.

Supporting companies in their workforce transformation

Behind the Singapore success story of transformation, we help businesses to do well, so that our workers can do well. 2019’s key focus was working with businesses to transform their workers in parallel with the industry into Worker 4.0.

Worker 4.0 aimed to equip workers with Adaptive Skills (the ability to navigate and influence change and solve complex problems), Technology Skills (the knowledge and mastery of digital systems and programmes) and Technical Skills (job-specific knowledge and skills), enabling workers to be ready for new jobs, Relevant with new skills and Resilient to new ways of working.

We worked with various partners across various sectors to translate Worker 4.0 into industry-specific roles. Many of these transformation initiatives would not have been possible if we did not have:

1. Highly driven and collaborative partners

In partnership with the Singapore Bakery & Confectionery Trade Association, e2i managed to reach out to over 200 trade professionals on becoming Baker 4.0, first identifying their skills gaps and training needs via an industry-wide survey and a series of sharing sessions, and subsequently working with various training partners to plug the gaps.

2. Constant constructive dialogues to understand the needs on the ground

e2i launched the new Worker 4.0 Digital Readiness Certificate together with the unions, training providers, IHLs and government partners, for Manufacturing Technicians and Associate Professionals, after feedback from the ground revealed a lack of suitable digital skills training for them. Now, as a result of the feedback and the hard work put in by various partners, the Digital Readiness Certificate will equip at least 1,000 workers with the digital literacy for the manufacturing industry’s transformation.

3. Businesses that are open to change and transformation

Most importantly, businesses and business leaders must start opening themselves up to new ways of learning and doing things. SME bosses tend to focus less on training due to their lean workforce and operational day to day needs. To help these time-strapped leaders to gain easy access to bite-sized learning, engage in discussions with peers and learn at their own pace, e2i launched the ULeap Community for SME bosses. The e-learning modules, curated in collaboration with Human Capital (Singapore), aim to boost their leadership and human capital skills to drive change, stay on top of trending developments, and bring their workers and company to the next level.

By helping companies transform their workforce, they will be able to sharpen their competitive edge as they now have manpower with the right skills and right mindsets.

Helping workers take charge of their own career transformation

Within the inclusive transformation ecosystem, as Singapore and companies transform and move along with the times, e2i also helps workers to take personal charge in steering their own career transformation journey.

As Industry 4.0 and the concept of transformation becomes a norm in Singapore, e2i has put in place several measures to help workers navigate the evolving employment landscape and to prepare them to adapt to these changes:

1. In times of digital disruption

In times of digital disruption, the job search process is no longer confined to the realm of newspapers and the Internet. In order to assist job seekers to navigate the digital employment landscape, e2i partnered FindJobs to develop a mobile job search app for job seekers who are not as digitally savvy. The app creates an additional platform to facilitate job matching between job seekers and employers – bringing online jobs to offline workers and making the job search process more accessible and with ease.

2. In times of nationwide change

The ban on riding motorised Personal Mobility Devices (PMD) on footpaths impacted many food delivery riders who used PMDs to transport food orders. e2i worked quickly to render ground support at Meet-the-People sessions through on-site career guidance and job search facilitation for the affected PMD riders. During difficult times like these, e2i work hand in hand with job seekers to guide them through career transition, which sometimes can be confusing and daunting, and to ensure they continue to stay employable.

3. In times of personal crisis

Ms Sharon Ong, once a former lawyer, battled with serious alcohol addiction and last stepped into full-time employment 17 years ago. Her job search journey started with much uncertainty. Having not received any replies from employers at the beginning of her job search, she had begun to wonder about her employability value.

It was then when she met e2i coach Aishah for her first career guidance session.

While working along with her career coach, Sharon attended the ‘Executive Workshop’ to address the employability gaps that have been identified. It provided her with an opportunity to network with participants from different walks of life and equipped her with relevant interview skills, and most importantly, it gave her the reassurance that she was not alone in her job search journey. The support network gained from the workshop and the guidance provided by her career coach gave her with a boost of confidence to persevere in her job search journey, and eventually, she found a job with NannyPro as a nanny.

Besides enjoying the flexible working hours and taking care of children, the job also gave her sufficient time to pursue her dream of writing novels and a book about her struggle with alcoholism.

Whether in times of nationwide change or in times of personal crisis, e2i stands ready to go the extra mile to provide support to workers in their job search journey.

Conclusion

Internally as an organisation, e2i is undergoing its own transformation as well, seeking ways to improve our culture, systems and skills. 2019 has also been a season of change for us, as we transit into being an ecosystem manager – an organisation that unites like-minded organisations and individuals to engage in more meaningful ways. Even as we undergo our own transformation, e2i will continue to be the bridge between workers and companies, through good weather and the storms that have yet to pass.