SMU and Alibaba Cloud launch upskilling programme for SMEs

The Singapore Management University (SMU) and Alibaba Cloud have launched a series of courses to upskill more than 1,000 working professionals in Singapore. Formalised at a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony, the ‘SMU-Alibaba Series’ professional continuing education programme is the first of its kind for Alibaba Cloud outside of China, and will be offered at the SMU Academy, the professional training arm of SMU, from March 2019.

Crafted specifically to empower SMEs, the series aims to equip businesses with the right competencies and capabilities to navigate rapid technological disruptions and fast-evolving consumer behaviour today. Conducted by Alibaba Cloud scientists, the courses will focus on leveraging real-world case studies to provide actionable insights into applicable technologies and strategies for business leaders to succeed in this challenging environment. The courses will cover the latest trends and digital strategies across a range of industries, including retail, finance, logistics and manufacturing, to bring participants up to speed on the adoption of emerging technologies such as cloud computing, A.I. and blockchain within their respective fields, as more companies move towards smart business models.

Dr Lim Lai Cheng, Executive Director, SMU Academy, said, “We are honoured to partner Alibaba Cloud in such a first-ever initiative.  This collaboration leverages Alibaba’s cutting edge technologies and leading industrial knowledge; as well as SMU’s thought leadership, academic rigour and outreach. I am confident that the courses on offer will benefit many professionals who wish to upgrade their knowledge and skills in emerging tech areas, and companies which are keen to use digital and smart technologies to transform their business models.”

“Following the completion of their face-to-face training, we hope to encourage participants to continue learning and sharing through the use of Alibaba’s online platforms.  Over time, we hope to build a strong online learning community among Singaporeans and SMEs,” she added.
Leveraging its faculty expertise, SMU will also develop cases of successful technological adoption by local companies, which in turn will be used as teaching resource for the ‘SMU-Alibaba Series’.  In future, SMU and Alibaba Cloud plan to expand the series to include a mentorship programme to help participating SMEs to implement tech-enabled strategies for their businesses.

Leon Chen, Country Manager, Singapore and Indonesia, Alibaba Cloud, said, “As Singapore’s Smart Nation becomes a reality, we will require Smart Citizens to lead the way. Our partnership with SMU aims to help equip local businesses with the right tools and technology to propel Singapore onward. We hope to provide actionable advice through a blend of success stories and our holistic approach to technology to help create a future-ready Singapore.”

The series will begin with seven courses from March 2019, all of which will be offered as part of the SkillsFuture Series of training programmes to drive training in eight priority and emerging skill areas.  Upon successful completion, participants will receive a certificate jointly issued by the SMU Academy and Alibaba Cloud.

Courses under the ‘SMU-Alibaba Series’ will be funded by SkillsFuture Singapore, with 70% course fee subsidy for Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents; and 90% course fee subsidy for Singapore Citizens aged 40 and above, and for SMEs who send their local employees (Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents) for the training.