Singtel has unveiled plans to invest S$45 million over three years to train 12,600 employees with digital skills as part of a wide-scale internal transformation agenda.
Under the banner of ACT, the initiative is designed to enhance employee learning and skills development to ensure the company’s staff hold relevant roles in the coming years.
“With technology and our industry evolving so quickly, constant re-skilling and retraining is critical,” said Aileen Tan, chief human resources officer, Singtel. “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 kick-start proceedings, Singtel and the Union of Telecoms Employees of Singapore (UTES) signed a three-year memorandum of understanding on Friday, focusing on the formation of a Company Training Committee (CTC) to implement the ACT initiative.
“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,” added Ng Chee Meng, secretary-general of National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).
“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.”
The signing ceremony took place at Singtel@8George, officially opened as a facility for Singtel employees to come together to “learn, ideate and innovate”.
Located on the site of the former City Exchange - one of Singapore’s earliest telephone exchanges - the facility has four levels of "multifunctional and interactive spaces" for activities such as training, team building workshops, townhalls and hackathons.
“At UTES, we regularly walk the ground to understand the impact of technology on our employees’ careers and we have also worked closely with NTUC's e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) on various training platforms,” said Thuvinder Singh, general secretary, UTES.
“Through this CTC, UTES will work closely with Singtel in adopting the 3Cs approach - commitment, constant collaboration and cohesiveness - to train and prepare employees for jobs of the future. Technology may advance at an unrelenting pace, but as long as employees, union and management keep a positive mindset and embrace change, we can progress and thrive in this transformation journey.”
Since embarking on internal transformation plans in 2012, Singtel has digitalised core consumer and enterprise businesses, in addition to introducing “new growth drivers” specific to digital marketing and cyber security.
To support the ACT initiative, Singtel also recently launched a digital learning app called ‘Curioius’ to help up-skill employees through curated learning channels housing more than 100,000 courses and videos covering topics from technology to leadership.