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Speech at Productivity and HR for Organisational Excellence event jointly organised by HCS-e2i-Bosses Network

Dr Amy Khor, Minister of State for Manpower and Health, Raffles Town Club

Distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen, good morning

  1. It gives me great pleasure to join all of you at this HCS-e2i-Bosses Network Productivity and HR for Organisational Excellence event.
  2. Today, we are here to celebrate the important milestone of having the first HR Workforce Skills Qualifications, or WSQ, capability development programme conducted in Mandarin to our SME bosses. With over 150,000 SMEs in the economy employing some 70% of our workers, it is important to ensure that training courses are catered to help SMEs raise their HR capabilities. SMEs form the backbone of our economy, contributing to about 50% of our economy and investing in skills and training for SMEs and their leaders will help to improve our overall workforce skills profile. Through this, we can create higher expertise jobs that will help to raise wages and build a stronger economy.
  3. As we are launching the first HR WSQ in Mandarin for SME bosses today, let me briefly elaborate on this next point in Mandarin.

    这 是 我 们 第 一 次 推 出 面 向 不 擅 长 英 文 的 中 小 企 业 业 主, 以 中 文 授 课 的 人 力 资 源 新 技 能 资 格 (HR WSQ), 所 以 特 别 有 意 义。 我 们 在 针 对 劳 动 力 的 特 别 需 求 所 努 力 定 制 的 课 程 能 够 全 方 位 地 提 升 每 位 员 工 和 业 主 的 技 能。 当 我 们 劳 动 力 的 技 术 能 力 得 到 了 提 高 , 他 们 将 能 够 胜 任 技 术 含 量 更 高 的 工 作 , 贡 献 于 更 高 效 的 工 作 流 程 , 使 得 我 们 的 企 业 能 够 转 向 以 生 产 力 驱 动 的 增 长 模 式。

    What is especially significant is that this is the first time that a HR WSQ is conducted in Mandarin to SME Bosses who are not so conversant in English. This effort in tailor-making our courses to meet the exact needs of the workforce moves us further forward in inclusively up-skilling every worker and business owners. As the overall skills profile of our workforce grows, they will be able to perform higher expertise jobs, contributing to more efficient work processes, and enabling our companies to shift into productivity-driven growth.

    Productivity and Continuing Education
  4. Improving productivity is critical for companies to continue prospering and for Singapore to enjoy sustainable economic growth. To this end, many schemes are readily available to help companies improve their productivity through various ways, such as automation, innovation, training and R&D.
  5. In July this year, WDA launched the Enhanced Training Support Scheme, or ETS, for SMEs. The enhanced funding is intended to encourage SMEs to send their employees for training. The scheme was designed based on feedback from SMEs and industry associations who identified training and upgrading as a key area to enhance their competitiveness and growth. As of end October 2012, over 4,000 SMEs had sponsored some 15,600 workers under the ETS scheme.

    HR WSQ Professional Diploma in Human Resources
  6. To help even more SMEs capitalise on the ETS scheme, HCS recently held a session to teach SMEs the mechanics of utilizing the ETS scheme. Arising from this, a cohort of 200 SME bosses signed up for the HR WSQ Professional Diploma in Human Resources.
  7. The HR WSQ Professional Diploma in Human Resources is a bundling of 10 modules focused on building up people management capabilities, and the development of good HR practices.

    Modules such as “Align human resource services with business needs” and “Manage budgets and finances” will equip the SME bosses with relevant and practical skills to help organisations achieve greater excellence.
  8. This programme, requiring 240 hours of training, is targeted for adult learners, and is made up of bite-sized training courses that will run over a period of one year. I am happy to note that despite the tight schedules of our SME bosses, they have committed to attend training one day per week, even while continuing to run their businesses. They have also expressed that the experiential learning, peer sharing and case study discussions embedded in the course resonates with their own interests and knowledge, making the course very relevant for their work.
  9. This group of 200 SME bosses were brought together by the President of The Bosses Network, Mr Hoon Thing Leong. Mr Hoon has led by example, enrolling in the WSQ course with his son to expand their managerial skill sets. I have heard that they enjoyed the lessons tremendously and have found the course to be very comprehensive and interactive.
  10. To the SME bosses here today (whether you are Mandarin-speaking or not), I would like to commend you for your determination to up-skill yourselves. Subsidies or not, you need strong commitment to attend the program in the midst of your daily busy schedule and business operations.

    Your passion for learning, and your energy and spirit in wanting to level up your capabilities will make you exemplary role models for your employees, and together, you can drive your company to higher productivity.
  11. I would also like to say a few more words in Mandarin – 我 想 表 扬 你 们 对 学 习 所 表 现 出 的 热 忱。您 对 于 自 我 提 升 的 坚 持 不 懈 , 不 仅 仅 为 您 的 员 工 树 立 了 好 榜 样 , 也 同 时 促 使 全 体 员 工 将 企 业 推 向 更 高 的 生 产 力 的 另 一 个 境 界。
  12. This is a positive example of how WDA works with training providers such as HCS to tweak the delivery of programmes to meet the needs of the SME community. On the Government’s part, we will continue to make schemes more accessible for companies, particularly the SMEs, to ease the transition towards productivity-led growth that is at the heart of our longer term wage and economic policy. However, it remains critical for companies themselves to prioritise training and upskilling for their employees, and to proactively involve themselves in Continuing Education.

    HR WSQ Professional Diploma for People Manager Champions
  13. In this light, I am pleased to highlight that Matsushita Greatwall Corporation (MGC) is one such example. 15 of their HODs are now into the second module of the HR WSQ Professional Diploma programme for People Manager Champions, a 240-hour programme that is conducted over the period of a year. Through this, the HODs will acquire horizontal skill sets in people management so as to groom themselves into better T-shaped managers – managers who excel in their own function, but are able to share ideas and expertise across their organisations.
  14. I would like to encourage more companies to follow in Matsushita’s footsteps and walk the talk on productivity. We must continue to invest in our workers so as to remain competitive.

    Human Capital Professional Board (Singapore)
  15. Of course, the CET industry must create a nurturing environment for firms who use their services. To this end, industry players came together to set up the Human Capital Professional Board (Singapore), or HCPBS. To date, HCS has delivered close to 8,000 Statement of Attainments, and many of these participants have come together to establish the HCPBS. These participants are PMEs who would like to continue the momentum of learning and sharing through the Communities of Practice, or CoP, a platform that promotes best practices in organisations through learning and sharing.
  16. 16 HCPBS is a professional board for Human Capital Professionals. It aims to drive and champion cutting edge best practices in human capital management and productivity, nurture professionals in the areas of leadership, human capital practices and productivity, build the human capital in organisations for productivity and business excellence and harness the younger generation.
  17. I commend these industry leaders, stepping forward from Government agencies, academic institutions and private corporations, to set up HCPBS. I hope that this new Board will contribute to the proliferation of Communities of Practice in Singapore, and help to evolve a culture of learning and sharing in Singapore. What is important is that this is an industry-driven initiative, spearheaded by like-minded individuals with the passion to propel capability development and productivity growth.
  18. Finally, I want to congratulate HCS, e2i, the Bosses Network, and Matsushita Greatwall Corporation for their respective roles in establishing HCPBS, and their various efforts to answer the Government’s call to raise the capabilities of people, processes and systems towards better productivity and more sustainable growth.
  19. Once again, my congratulations and I wish you a successful event. Thank you.