The National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) today launched the first Inclusive Growth Symposium, a one-stop solutions platform targeted at helping Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) upgrade their workers and raise productivity.
Started in August 2010, the $100 million Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP) aims to drive productivity improvements in all sectors and help 100,000 low wage workers. It is NTUC’s e2i’s key initiative for inclusive and sustainable growth through supporting automation and process redesign for companies, with the requirement to share gains with low wage workers.
As at August 2013, there are 820 committed IGP projects. When these projects are completed, more than 53,000 workers will benefit from productivity and wage increase. Two-thirds of the companies on board IGP are SMEs.
Through working with more than 1,000 companies and partners on hiring, training and productivity solutions, e2i has been reaching out to SMEs through engagement sessions, and outreach with industry associations and at locations with more SMEs. The Inclusive Growth Symposium was organized to bring together more SMEs and solutions providers on a bigger scale at the new Jurong East campus.
Mr Gilbert Tan, CEO of e2i, said, “e2i is committed to partner SMEs to boost productivity, create better jobs and develop better workers. Together with our tripartite partners, we encourage all SMEs to invest in upgrading jobs and workers, tap on funding schemes, and work with e2i to create productivity breakthroughs.”
Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, NTUC SME Lead, said, “There will be regular learning journeys locally and overseas to learn from successfully companies. We will also work closely with associations and unions to reach out to more SMEs.”
The Inclusive Growth Symposium brought together companies, government agencies, and solutions partners for SMEs to learn about how SMEs in various sectors improved productivity, Mandarin and English panel discussions, grant clinics to advice on how to tap on the various funding programmes, and exhibitions by training and solutions providers. NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say gave the opening address.