Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quick, short and efficient

On-site training

Workers and bosses give thumbs up for training at worksite

Alicia Wong


THEIR lean manpower and mode of operation made it difficult for these retail companies to send their staff for training programmes.

Retail outlets cannot just close an outlet and send their employees for training even if business is slow, said Mrs Josephine Teo, assistant secretary-general of the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), at the graduation ceremony of the inaugural “Provide GEMS Service” On-Site-Bite-Size (OSBS) training programme.

To cater to these retailers, the 12-hour OSBS programme was broken into five sessions and held during non-peak retailing hours, twice a week. The programme was first rolled out on March 23 at IMM, where the 24 participants were working.

“(We wanted to) find a way of delivering service training under the Workforce Skills Qualification framework to benefit a larger group of retailers, in particular, the SME group,” said Mrs Teo, who is also the executive secretary of the Singapore Industrial and Services Employees’ Union (Siseu). “SME retailers tend to have very lean manpower staffing and the conventional way of training delivery is not feasible for them.”

City Chain Stores’ operations manager Anthony Tan added that his store also did not have to look for replacement staff from other outlets while his workers went for the course.

Mr Ryan Yeo, one of the five City Chain employees who attended the course, said he could return to work easily after the class. Besides, the two-hour sessions also helped him focus better, compared to full-day classes, he said.

Added Mrs Teo, the tripartite — Siseu, the Employment and Employability Institute and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency — wanted a course that was relevant for the 150,000 people in the retail sector.

Since the programme comes under the Skills Programme for Upgrading and Resilience, which now offers 800 courses, participants get a 90-per-cent fee subsidy among others.

CapitaLand Retail, which runs IMM in Jurong East, hopes to extend the programme to its other malls, such as Raffles City, if there are 25 to 30 interested participants, said its deputy chief executive Simon Ho.

From TODAY, News – Thursday, 10-April-2009


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