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Employer Supported Training, 2012

Majority of employers continue to provide structured training to their employees, with a positive impact on staff performance

08 October 2013

  1. The majority of employers continued to provide structured training to their employees in 2012, despite the tight labour market. Employers generally reported that the training had benefitted their organisational and staff performance. These are the key findings from the biennial Survey on Employer Supported Training, conducted by the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Manpower Research and Statistics Department.

    Main Findings
  2. The proportion of private establishments that provided structured training to their employees in 2012 (71%) was unchanged from 2010 and comparable to the high of 72% in 2005 and 2006.
  3. The majority of private establishments that evaluated the effectiveness of staff training reported positive impact on work productivity (78%), quality of products and services (77%), customer satisfaction (66%) and ability to meet changing/future business needs (64%). A large majority of employers felt that training enhanced employees’ skills (90%), job responsibilities (76%) and work motivation (71%). Employers were more divided about the impact of training on employees’ wages (50%) and promotion opportunities (52%), with around half indicating that training had positive impact.
  4. Overall, the share of employees sent for structured training in training-providing establishments was 57% in 2012, comparable to the 58% in 2010. Professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) (2010: 63% to 2012: 59%) and clerical, sales & services workers (2010: 54% to 2012: 51%) saw declines. In contrast, production & transport operators, cleaners and labourers registered a 1.8%-point increase from 2010 to 58% in 2012, supported by government initiatives such as the Workfare Training Support (WTS) Scheme which encourages employers to send their low-wage employees for training.
  5. Employers spent less on training in 2012, partly reflecting the decline in proportion of PMETs (whose training fees are typically higher) sent for training. The training cost per employee incurred by training-providing employers decreased from $511 in 2010 to $407 in 2012, or from $449 to $362 after deducting training grants/subsidies and costs recovered from training incentive schemes. On the whole, the training expenditure per employee generally trended downwards over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 (-2.8% p.a.). Reflecting wider government support for training, the decline in employers’ net training expenditure per employee was more pronounced (-4.1% p.a.).
  6. A lower proportion of training-providing establishments (24%) committed to training their staff for a specified number of hours per year in 2012 compared to 2010 (31%). Similarly, the incidence of training-providing private establishments with a formal training/staff development policy declined to 30% in 2012, from 36% in 2010. Fewer establishments also assigned a senior management staff to oversee training (31%), down from 2010 (39%) and a decade ago (57%).
  7. Majority of employers indicated that an increase in government subsidies for training courses and the ability to manage workload when employees go for training would motivate them to send more of their staff for training. Employers are encouraged to tap on schemes such as the Enterprise Training Support, which provides funding to help employers train and develop their staff.
  8. The full report is available on the Ministry of Manpower’s website.