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News from CNA.

Continuing Education & Training campuses to be fully operational by Sept 2014
By Alice Chia
POSTED: 15 Apr 2014 18:37


The two national Continuing Education and Training (CET) campuses will be fully operational by the second half of this year, where they will be able to train some 50,000 workers annually.

SINGAPORE: The two national Continuing Education and Training (CET) campuses will be fully operational by the second half of this year, where they will be able to train some 50,000 workers annually.

S$300 million was set aside for the two campuses, which are located in Paya Lebar and Jurong.

The decision to build the campuses was first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the 2009 National Day Rally Speech.

Some of the facilities that the campus in Paya Lebar will be offering include a lecture theatre that can seat 300 people, event halls for masterclasses and job fairs, and training rooms equipped with advance teaching technologies.

Also known as the Lifelong Learning Institute, it will boast other facilities such as a library and an interactive gallery to help visitors discover career opportunities.

Visitors can also use the centre's multimedia exhibits to undertake profiling and personality tests to identify potential learning options.

The two facilities will be ready in September 2014.

Currently, the Paya Lebar campus houses 12 tenants that offer various skills upgrading programmes for adult learners in various industries, such as information technology and early childhood care.

When fully operational, the campus can accommodate up to 20 tenants, depending on their space requirements.

Swapna Pawar, head of college at Asian International College, said: "Some of the key benefits are that we have a number of walk-ins that come in because it's a WDA (Workforce Development Agency) campus.

"We have a childcare centre as well as a training institute here, which then facilitates, in order to provide the right amount of training that is required for early childcare teachers."

Leslie Loh, chairman of Lithan Hall Academy, said: "There are a lot of good shared facilities that enable us to use when we have that need. As a training provider, we can't essentially put up infrastructure to the maximum level. For example, a big theatre hall... we can't afford it ourselves and we use it occasionally."

Kenneth Wong Khee Cheak, director of corporate and marketing communications division at Singapore Workforce Development Agency, said: "It's really to create a focal point for our training community to come together, to build a community that can actually share resources, work together with one another to raise the quality of our CET up to a different level.

“We have also developed some facilities for them to try out new ideas, allow them to innovate on how we can deliver training.

“Of course, this is really to benefit the individual, so how does the individual benefit? It becomes a resource where you can come through at any point of your life to find out more about how (you) can…upgrade (yourself), find out about opportunities available for (you).

“Of course for employers, what does it mean for them? It's also to find the pipeline of workers to help them to develop their business further."

- CNA/gn
source: CNA
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
News from CNA.

PM Lee backs tripartite discussions to extend re-employment age beyond 65
By Saifulbahri Ismail
POSTED: 01 May 2014 11:55
UPDATED: 01 May 2014 19:58


PM Lee Hsien Loong said he fully supports ongoing tripartite discussions to extend the re-employment age beyond 65. Addressing more than 1,000 unionists at the May Day Rally, he said the government aims to amend the Retirement and Re-employment Act.

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he fully supports ongoing tripartite discussions to extend the re-employment age beyond 65.

He was addressing more than 1,000 unionists at the May Day Rally on Thursday morning.

Speaking in English and Mandarin, he said the government aims to amend the Retirement and Re-employment Act but this will take time.

Mr Lee also paid tribute to the pioneer generation of unionists and urged unions to renew themselves and learn from past leaders.

This year's May Day Rally was held at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability at Jurong East.

The institute was officially opened by PM Lee, who said it is a good way to honour the spirit and contributions of Singapore's founding unionists like Mr Nair.

The institute is one of two Continuing and Education Training (CET) campuses the government has built to help workers remain employable.

The other campus is the Lifelong Learning Institute at Paya Lebar, which is operated by the Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

Mr Lee said promoting continuous learning for those already working is critical when knowledge becomes obsolete more quickly.

These two institutes reflect the government's commitment to invest in workers and help them improve their skills and stay employable, said Mr Lee.

The CET system will undergo a major revamp to support workers better.

Several initiatives are expected to be announced when the second CET campus is officially opened later this year.

When Mr Lee met union leaders recently, they expressed concerns about the plight of older workers.

Many indicated they wanted to continue working beyond 65 and hoped the government can help, preferably with the "same job, same pay".

He assured that help will be given but urged them to be prepared instead to do "suitable jobs, with reasonable pay".

Mr Lee also cautioned workers about the competition Singapore faces and encouraged them to upgrade and learn new skills.

Mr Lee said: "We can't tell our competition to go away. They want to eat our lunch, we know that. They want to eat our dinner, we suspect that. We can't stop them from wanting, but we can make sure we can hold our own, and we can eat our own lunch.

"We can provide you the resources and the means to stay one step ahead of the competition, and we will have a Singapore system which we can work together to build, to maximise your potential, maximise your contributions."

Mr Lee also stressed the need to create better jobs - to raise the value and dignity of work, and be better safety nets than social transfers.

To create better jobs, he said Singapore has to remain open.

Mr Lee said: "We must not send the wrong signal that Singapore doesn't welcome investments, or we are turning away talent. We want to do well, we are doing well for our people. The best way to do that is by being open, big-hearted, confident. We compete, we can win. We are not afraid."

The Prime Minister noted that better jobs require better companies as these would attract quality investments.

He said Singapore is now seeking higher-skilled, knowledge-intensive, innovation-driven investments like that of Lucasfilm.

The film production company, famous for Star Wars movies, chose to set up its base in Singapore because the country has an international talent base, good infrastructure, and creative minds with the right skills.

Mr Lee also said Singapore must stay open and connected to the world, for example, through working closely with its neighbours on win-win projects like Iskandar Malaysia and Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks.

Mr Lee added that Singapore supports free trade and investments like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement as these will expand Singapore's export markets and attract more investments to the country.

PM Lee also honoured Singapore's pioneer generation unionists.

He said they defeated the pro-Communists in the Singapore Association of Trade Unions (SATU) and enabled the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) to assume its leadership role.

Mr Lee said: "Nobody appointed the NTUC. They fought for this right to represent Singapore workers and they won it. These PG unionists convinced workers to abandon their own model of lose-lose confrontation, strikes, protests, sit-ins, riots, turbulence - gave that up and embraced a new model of tripartite labour relations, win-win cooperation."

Mr Lee also urged the unions to renew themselves. He said this is another area unions can learn from the pioneer generation.

The pioneers were passionate leaders, and many served for a long time and groomed successors well.

Mr Lee said he is glad to see more union leaders making way for new blood at 62 years old, while retaining their links with the unions.

Besides workers and jobs, Mr Lee said Singapore is upgrading its environment.

One new facility that will be ready next year is the National Gallery, which overlooks the Padang.

Mr Lee also revealed that when Singapore marks its 50th year of independence next year, the National Day Parade will be held at the Padang.

- CNA/nd/ir
source: CNA
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
News from CNA.

S$4m maritime simulation centre launched
By Alice Chia
POSTED: 09 May 2014 19:48


A new maritime simulation centre was launched on Friday, as part of a plan to attract more Singaporeans to join the industry.

SINGAPORE: A new maritime simulation centre was launched on Friday, as part of a plan to attract more Singaporeans to join the industry.

The centre, which costs some S$4 million, boasts state-of-the-art facilities -- including engine room and liquid cargo handling simulators, the latest 240-degree full mission bridge simulator, as well as an electronic chart display and information system.

Called the Wavelink Maritime Simulation Centre, it is one of the first few maritime institutes in Singapore to house four simulation systems in one location.

It will allow maritime officers to get more effective hands-on training in various aspects such as ship manoeuvring and resource management, and prepare themselves for extreme conditions and emergencies without being put through real risks and danger.

They can also learn to use shipboard equipment such as electronic charts, automatic identification systems and radar plotting aids.

The centre, which is housed at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability Institute in Jurong, is owned by the Singapore Maritime Officers' Union (SMOU).

By enhancing the training of maritime cadets and officers, the union hopes more Singaporeans will consider seafaring as a career.

SMOU General Secretary Mary Liew said: "Traditionally, seafaring skills are very much time-based learning, that is the longer you work onboard a ship, the better skills you have.

"But now with simulation training, the cadets and officers' skills are accelerated with real-time feedback in a risk-free environment.

"Thus, they become better officers, have better jobs and better lives. It is a win-win situation for them as well as the shipping companies."

For a small country that is highly dependent on international trade, the maritime industry is a core pillar of Singapore's economic development.

It contributes seven per cent of Singapore's GDP and provides 170,000 jobs.

But out of some 20,000 officers in more than 4,200 Singapore-flagged ships, only 1,605 are Singaporeans.

- CNA/ac
source: CNA
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
News from CNA.

One-stop centre to help Singaporean bus drivers better skills, careers
By Olivia Siong and Sharon See
POSTED: 12 Sep 2014 15:09
UPDATED: 12 Sep 2014 15:12


The Bus Career Development Centre, which will open next year, could help at least 3,000 Singaporean drivers, and will feature 16 simulators to train its drivers.

SINGAPORE: At least 3,000 Singaporean bus drivers could get to improve their driving skills and, in doing so, advance their careers with the opening of the first Bus Career Development Centre in Singapore.

The centre is one of the initiatives to professionalise Singapore's bus industry by the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) and SMRT, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday (Sep 12).

To be located at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability, the one-stop centre could improve the training for bus drivers over the first three years of its operation. Set to be ready in the second quarter of next year, it will be open to both public and private bus operators in Singapore.

The centre will feature 16 simulators for training, which will improve the training quality and safety of drivers, as they learn how to react in emergency situations and to navigate different buses, weather and road conditions virtually before starting on-the-job. The simulator was developed by ST Electronics, which has built simulators for use in aviation, maritime and ground transport.

Said Vice President of ST Electronic's Land Business Division Tan Peng Soon: "We're going to do a lot of localisation and customisation unique to Singapore. For example, the bus types that will be used, local traffic conditions as well as road users' behaviours. And these systems will also replicate local conditions, even weather conditions that will really enhance the training capability."

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/blob/1358998/1410503585000/bus-simulator-2-data.jpg

The simulators have the ability to connect and form a network, and this allows for team-based learning, said Mr Tan Kian Heong, Vice President of SMRT Buses.

"We are building a simulator where it can allow up to 16 bus captains to train together, together with the service controller," said Mr Tan Kian Heong. "So this allows for a more coordinated training."

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/blob/1358996/1410503654000/bus-simulator-drawing-data.jpg

Another initiative, together with the National Transport Workers' Union (NTWU), is a progressive wage model for staff in SMRT Buses, which charts out career pathways and gives staff better defined routes of advancement. It will also allow workers to regularly improve their skills to keep pace with the industry, said e2i and SMRT.

"We see a lot of drivers whose whole life is being a driver. Now, in this centre, we want to develop them the skills, we want to give them the knowledge, know-how and also the opportunity to progress, from not just a driver but in future they can be a bus supervisor, operation manager or service controller," said Ms Laura Lum, Deputy Director of e2i.

The actual simulator that will be used for training is still being worked on and will only be operational from the second quarter of 2015. However, a mock-up will be available for the public to try at the Bus Carnival, which is open until Saturday at the e2i's building in Jurong.

- CNA/do/av
source: CNA
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
News from CNA.

Singapore's first CET library opens, aims to inspire working adults
POSTED: 28 Nov 2014 16:47
UPDATED: 28 Nov 2014 16:48


Located at the Lifelong Leaning Institute (LLI), the library - also known as the LLiBrary - will serve as a focal point for partners to collaborate and innovate to elevate Continuing Education and Training.

SINGAPORE: The Republic's first Continuing Education and Training (CET) library was launched on Friday (Nov 28), the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and National Library Board (NLB) announced in a joint media release.

Located at the Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI), the library - known as the LLiBrary - will serve as a focal point for partners to collaborate and innovate to elevate CET, the release said.

The LLiBrary was developed with working adults in mind, and offers a curated collection with a focus on CET. It currently holds 8,000 non-fiction books, 30 periodical titles and more than 200 audio-visual materials, covering topics such as career advancement, vocational guidance and the upgrading of skills.

Users can reserve, collect and return books, magazines and audio-visual materials borrowed from the LLiBrary at any of NLB's public libraries, and vice versa. In addition, users can access NLB's electronic resources from the e-platforms available, the release added.

“Lifelong learning is about curiosity, reflection, and always having the drive to develop
oneself. Besides finding the resources they need for self and career development, I hope visitors of the LLiBrary will find inspiration in this space,” said Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer of NLB.

COLLABORATIONS TO PROMOTE LIFELONG LEARNING

The LLiBrary will also work closely with LLI to develop resource collections that will be relevant to the needs of the workforce, the release said. For instance, WDA and NLB worked with the Asian Culinary Institute and the Singapore Institute of Retail Studies to offer relevant materials for their students.

Collaborations with LLI's training partners and employment facilitators to organise programmes such as talks and platforms for exchanging ideas are also in the works, the release stated.

- CNA/dl
source: CNA
 

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