SME Digital Reboot programme launched

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NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB), NTUC U SME, United Overseas Bank (UOB)’s innovation accelerator The FinLab, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to officially launch the SME Digital Reboot programme.

The programme aims to help 500 companies nationwide deepen their digital capabilities by the end of 2022, in order for them to stay relevant and competitive in a transformed business landscape. 

While the SME Digital Reboot programme is applicable to companies of all sizes, the outreach efforts for which will focus strongly on Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Employing more than two-third of Singapore’s workforce, SMEs contribute an estimated half of Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product.

Many SMEs think of digital transformation as an exclusive measure that only larger companies can afford as they are unaware of the assistance available to drive digital transformation in their own SMEs. The SME Digital Reboot programme aims to create a mindset shift for SME employers, push for upskilling of SME employees, and help SMEs create sustainable business tools for them to adapt to changes.

Through a pilot programme, 40 companies have benefitted from the ‘reboot’, turning digital disruption to digital assistance in their businesses.

The SME Digital Reboot programme, which is led by NTUC LHUB, helps to synergise the unique strengths of key partners to uplift companies to keep pace with the age of digitalization. This will be done through an end-to-end solution covering needs assessment, curated training programmes and workplace learning sessions.

Firstly, NTUC U SME will leverage their broad network of SMEs and associations to boost outreach efforts. Secondly, with The FinLab’s expertise in supporting ASEAN SMEs with their business transformation journeys, the organisation will provide companies access to a range of digital resources and tools on The FinLab Online designed to help them understand their business needs and to determine a sustainable digitalisation strategy.

Thirdly, NTUC LHUB and NP will provide training across five tracks including Digital Communication and Collaboration, Workflow Automation, Process Automation, Data Processes and Visualisation, and Digital Marketing.

Lastly, to ensure that the learning can be applied effectively, the programme includes on-ground implementation support through workplace learning sessions by NP lecturers, graduates and students.

A key group benefitting from the pilot is the Association of Employment Agencies Singapore (AEAS), the only industry association representing employment agencies in Singapore. AEAS members are made up of manpower-lean employment agencies where staff training absenteeism is seen as manpower costs incurred.

Under the programme, AEAS members would be offered employment advisory for training, training courses for workers and the right tools to kickstart their digital transformation. Having benefited as one of the early adopters of the SME Digital Reboot programme, AEAS signed a MOU with NTUC U SME today as a pledge to help more of their members kickstart their digital transformation through this programme.

Said Eugene Wong, Chairman of NTUC LHUB, “SMEs are key engines of our economy, yet 40% of SMEs surveyed cited the lack of support and expertise as barriers to digitalisation. As the digital wave sweeps over Singapore, it is crucial for SMEs to effectively reboot their businesses to stay competitive and drive Singapore’s growth.

“Transformation is a continuous journey, and NTUC LHUB is committed to helping SMEs build future skills that align with industrial changes. The strategic partnership with The FinLab and Ngee Ann Polytechnic to roll out a structured SME Digital Reboot program will empower organisations to take the first step in their digital transformation strategy by building in-demand skills to navigate towards digital success.

“NTUC LHUB endeavours to continue expanding our ecosystem of partners to transform workers for a transformed future.”

Companies are encouraged to leverage the available SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) Funding to enroll into the programme.