Friday, 13 September 2019 09:40

Singtel invests S$45 million in employee digital skills program Featured

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Singtel invests S$45 million in employee digital skills program Image adamr, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Singapore telco Singtel is investing S$45 million over three years in a professional development program designed to boost the digital skills of its 12,600 employees.

The parent company of Australia’s second largest telco Optus says the investment is aimed at enabling its employees to thrive in the digital economy.

The initiative - dubbed ACT aims to Accelerate employee learning and skills development, empower employees to Co-create their skills pathways and Transform employee roles to ensure they remain relevant in the digital economy.

Singtel’s Group Chief Human Resources Officer Aileen Tan said, “With technology and our industry evolving so quickly, constant re-skilling and retraining is critical. The ACT initiative is designed to help our employees deepen their digital capabilities as we accelerate our digital transformation efforts.

“This includes programmes that encourage them to embrace continuous learning and actively manage their professional development in anticipation of longer career spans. This will ensure we have an agile, future-ready workforce that can meet the demands of the new economy.”

To support the ACT initiative, Singtel recently launched a digital learning app called CURIOUS to help employees with digital learning, featuring curated learning channels with some 100,000 courses and videos covering topics from technology to leadership.

Singtel says CURIOUS will complement classroom sessions and on-the-job training, enabling staff to develop new competencies in areas such as analytics, automation and design thinking, in a shorter time.

The app also allows employees at every stage in their careers the flexibility of customising their learning experience according to their individual needs.

At a signing ceremony on Thursday, Singtel and the Union of Telecoms Employees of Singapore (UTES) inked a three-year Memorandum of Understanding on the formation of a Company Training Committee (CTC) to implement the ACT initiative.

Ng Chee Meng, Secretary-General of NTUC - who attended the signing of the MOU as special guest - said, “Technology, media and telecommunications companies are driving digital innovation and transformation, but they are not immune to the challenges brought about by Industry 4.0.”

“In this vein, I’m encouraged that Singtel is the first telco to partner the Labour Movement in setting up a CTC to help their workers be future-ready with new or different skillsets. With continued commitment from our tripartite partners, I’m confident that we can achieve three big ‘Wins’: Win for Singapore’s economy, Win for our businesses, and importantly, Win for our workers.”

Additionally, Singtel employees will be empowered to develop skillsets to match the needs of the digital economy, including participating in a ‘4G to 5G Pathways’ course to prepare network engineers for 5G, equipping them with new 5G skills.

Singtel also gives all full-time staff two days of leave each year to attend SkillsFuture courses, and by early 2020, some 3,000 Singtel staff are set to benefit from a customised SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace program aimed at strengthening their digital skills.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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