ST Engineering, WDA kick off skills upgrading scheme

Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering and the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) are linking up in an initiative to improve skills in the workplace.

The memorandum of understanding they signed yesterday will kick-start the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme.

This will be implemented in phases across different aspects of ST Engineering's business - from aerospace engineering to infocomm technology.

Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development, said at the signing: "Given the constraints on workforce growth that we face as a small nation, upskilling our workforce and raising productivity become the only way to achieve higher wages and better lives for Singaporeans."

As such, the Earn and Learn Programme is a work-study initiative designed to give fresh graduates of polytechnics and the Institutes of Technical Education (ITE) a headstart in their careers related to their academic course, get hands-on work experience and also improve their technical skills.

Four engineers from ST Marine will be the first batch of employees to benefit from the one-year programme. They will undertake study at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in the area of marine and offshore engineering.

"The company will be fully sponsoring the employees for their course, and they will still be paid a normal salary," said Ms Ng Poh Gek, senior manager of human resources at ST Engineering.

ST Engineering will stand to benefit as it will be able to receive up to $15,000 per employee placed in the programme, said a WDA spokesman.

At least 100 ST Engineering technical staff will benefit from this programme over the next three years. Participants will be mentored by a senior staff member while on the job.

Mr Vincent Chong, ST Engineering's deputy chief executive for corporate development, said the Earn and Learn Programme is complementary to what the company is doing and enables it to deepen the skillset of employees. "As ST Engineering is a very diversified engineering company, and that technology continues to evolve, it is very important for us to continue to invest in our employees, building their skill set," Mr Chong said.

"Not just meeting today's technological and skills requirements, but even for tomorrow and new technology that comes on board," he added.

This article was first published on July 16, 2015.
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