Small and medium enterprises are often daunted by the costs of developing workplace
learning capabilities. A new centre is aiming to build best practices in workplace learning
amongst SMEs in Singapore by bridging the gap between jobs and skills. Over 1,000
companies, particularly smaller enterprises, will be benefited by the centre. Grants will be
provided to help employers defray the costs of developing such workplace learning
Led by Nanyang Polytechnic and supported by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), the National
Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning is a collaboration with the Swiss Federal
Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET), and the German Chamber of
Industry & Commerce (IHK Akademie).
The Centre will equip companies with the capability to train and develop their workers. This
will be done through training and certifying trainers using best-in-class training practices, and
offering customised solutions to develop in-house training systems for companies.
Singapore has about 200,000 SMEs which employ around 2.2 million workers, who make up
about 70 per cent of the workforce.
Jeanne Liew, Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Nanyang Polytechnic, says,
“Companies and employees constantly face the challenge of freeing up time for training. But
with evolving technologies and business demands, it has become imperative that we address
any mismatch between jobs and skills. With this approach, we can work with firms and tailor
an approach that is structured and documented, yet has relevant and specific content to the
Both SFIVET and IHK Akademie are well regarded internationally for their focus on
vocational education and training, and workplace learning systems. They have worked with
notable companies across Europe, such as Nestle, Credit Suisse, Daimler and Siemens, to
enhance their workplace learning processes, and through the collaboration with NACE,
Singapore companies can similarly benefit from their expertise.
The collaboration between NACE, SFIVET and IHK Akademie will build a pool of skilled
trainers who are capable of identifying and evaluating issues in their companies, and
providing customised training solutions. SFIVET and IHK Akademie will also share with
NACE’s trainers their experience and expertise in training, and building good in-house
systems and processes, which can be applied to companies in Singapore.
Trainers in participating companies can continue to upgrade themselves to become Specialist
Trainers and ultimately Master Trainers, with internationally recognised certification from
SFIVET or NACE.
Local companies can also participate in NACE’s learning journeys to gain insights and look
at good practices on workplace implementation from best-in-class companies locally and
Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of SkillsFuture Singapore explains, “Building workplace
learning capabilities is critical especially in this age of disruption and transformation. With
the setting up of NACE, we will draw on best practices from Switzerland and Germany, and
strengthen the support available to companies, especially SMEs, to help them develop such
Charles and Keith Group is among the first companies to collaborate with NACE to build up
its workplace training capability.
“Our people are our greatest asset and we believe in helping them to maximise their potential. Building a learning culture and fostering global talent mobility helps us to stay competitive in this volatile and uncertain global economy. Being an early adopter of NACE supports our current on-the-job trainings and enables us to build a learning academy that is on par with internationally recognised ones. We hope to enhance self-directed learning in our employees through NACE by adapting their training technology, framework and blueprints into our own workplace learning systems,” says Chia Wai Jyy, Head of Human Resource of Global Talent Management and Mobility, Charles & Keith Group.
Dr Cornelia Oertle, Director General of SFIVET adds, “The collaboration between NYP and
SFIVET has been exemplary from the beginning. SFIVET’s International Master Coach
courses held in Singapore help companies to increase the awareness of workplace training
and to develop the skills of their trainers.”
By keeping training in-house, NACE will help local, smaller companies benefit from the rich
pool of resources and global expertise at minimal expenses and develop learning cultures and
talent at par with the best in the world.