GROWING WITH SKILLSFUTURE (SSG)
1. LONG-TERM GROWTH OPPORTUNITY IN CET
The government’s relentless effort to keep its workforce relevant and its commitment to generous expenditure in life-long learning has made the Continuation Education & Training (CET) industry one of the fastest growing and most important sector for Singapore’s economic growth in the coming decade.
The following texts, quoted from the 16 August 2016 parliamentary speech by DPM Lim Swee Say, reveals the long-term growth opportunity for education and training providers who are able to align themselves with industry skills’ needs in the future economy:
“First, we need to quicken the transformation of industry, to make every job a better job. MTI and sector agencies are leading this effort to create the new industries, new businesses, and new jobs of the future.
Second, we will need to quicken the transformation of the workforce, to make every worker a better worker. MOE is leading the effort to inculcate lifelong learning, from pre-employment education to professional and continuing education. SkillsFuture Singapore is the new agency tasked with this.
.. the third thing we must do right is to match every better worker to every better job, and make every career a better career for all Singaporeans.” DPM Lim Swee Say, 16 August 2016
2. ROLE FOR EDUCATION & TRAINING PROVIDERS: ALIGNING WITH INDUSTRY’S FUTURE NEEDS
Players in the CET field can capitalise and participate in this vision of cross-industry transformation, whether in developing new learning programmes to address new needs; contextualising existing programmes for specific industry requirements; or upgrading old programmes to achieve better learning outcomes that consistently meet industry requirements and learners’ needs necessary for the transformation.
To perform their roles in industry successfully, education and training providers can align themselves with industry needs by working closely with the MTI, MOM, MOE, SSG and WSG in the Industry Transformation Plan.
Industry Transformation Model
“Industry transformation requires deep partnerships between large and small companies, public research institutions, education and training providers, as well as Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs), unions, individuals and the government. Each will bring an important perspective. Hence the ITM will involve everyone working together to address the salient issues in the medium to longer term for our sectors.” Ministry of Trade and Industry (Sept 2016)
For such partnership and alignment to be effective, learning service providers would need to provide meaningful and accurate feedback to government agencies not only on the evolving learner needs but the transfer-of-learning to learners and whether such transfer actually achieves corporate goals.
Hence, it is imperative that a sound system of monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of learning outcomes and learning services is put in place – together with capability to develop new programmes and contextualise existing ones. Without an effective system, learning service providers will not be able to address the outcomes required in industry transformation.
Therefore, it is essential that learning service providers put in place a Quality Management System that will ensure a high level of organisational capability and demonstrate top management commitment and confidence in undertaking the entire monitoring, evaluating and reprogramming process. In short, they must prepare themselves to become effective partners of government agencies who are on the path to continuously “reinvent” the workforce – and this is where the long-term opportunity lies for education and learning service providers.
3. SERVICE EXCELLENCE THROUGH INTEGRATING QUALITY PROCESSES
Currently, all WDA accredited training organisations (ATOs) must go through a regular continuous improvement review (the CIR Audit) with its unique set of requirements.
All MOM accredited training providers (ATPs) are required to adopt the ISO 29990:2010 Standard.
And all MOE Private Education Institutes (PEIs) are required to meet the ERF and strive to achieve the Edutrust Quality Assurance standard (if they wish to enroll foreign students).
Therefore, learning service providers who are conducting courses across these systems should consider combining these requirements into one integrated system. This will enable the organisation to take advantage of the strengths of each system and deliver the utmost quality performance in all organisational processes to every single learner and employer.
With training and formal education now under the MOE, this is the ultimate quality system to strive for in the CET field.
4. COMPETITIVE BENEFITS OF AN INTEGRATED SYSTEM
Learning service providers who are currently ATOs are already leveraging on WDA’s invaluable head-start in the CET field through its thirteen years of cross-industry collaboration and needs analyses.
MOE’s past experience in successfully upgrading the standards of the entire PEIs sector has benefitted many private education institutions (PEIs) under the Enhanced Registration and Edutrust Framework.
It is inevitable that an internationally-recognised and accepted quality standard will become the key quality framework for all education and learning service providers in the CET field as the competency and lifelong learning market expands beyond our geographical domain.
Hence, integrating an existing quality system into the ISO 29990: 2010 system is not only logical but will become a strong competitive advantage for the organisation locally and overseas.
Whether the integration is between CIR-ISO standards or ISO-EDUTRUST standards or ISO-CIR-EDUTRUST standard, the following benefits across the organisation can be expected:
- Increasing efficiency and capacity with streamlined processes
- Enhanced brand image to both local and international audience
- Improved customer satisfaction through quality of delivery
- Increased productivity and cost-savings as a result
- Greater accountability and effectiveness through process ownerships
- Professional and systematic internal courseware development and validation
- Effective decision-making based on systematic data collection and analysis
- Well-prepared for future “Call-For-Proposals”
- Breeze through renewal audits using one SOP Manual
- Manage business risks effectively
- Prepare your organisation for growth
- General management effectiveness
- And many more..
5. BEGIN YOUR ALIGNMENT NOW
Your organisation can align for growth in the next decade and beyond by becoming “partners” with government agencies. And the number one criteria for this is being committed to improving and enhancing your product and service quality capability continuously.
“Appointed Training Organisations (ATOs) under the WSQ Framework are required to have strong and sound pedagogical knowledge and instructional design capability, and have the capacity to continually develop progressive adult training courses.” MOM’s Media Release (18 Jan 2017)
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