ll major companies in the aviation sector have committed to sending their workers for training as they continue to grapple with the challenges brought about by COVID-19. The commitment from top leaders representing the key players in the aviation sector was made at a closed-door dialogue hosted by NTUC Secretary-General (SG) Ng Chee Meng on Friday, 3 April 2020.
NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng said, “We had a frank and fruitful discussion. It has been a very challenging time for both our companies and workers. It is therefore heartening to see our aviation sector unions and companies working together to send workers to fill more than 17,500 training places. In these times, schemes such as the Jobs Support Scheme will help companies save manpower cost as they invest in their workforce. NTUC and our unions stand ready to work with companies through set ups such as Company Training Committees to upskill and upgrade our workers during this downtime so that when the storm clears, both company and worker can be better positioned to exploit all the opportunities that the world will show us again.”
Train To Save Jobs
Already, the sector has seen some early training initiatives take flight. For example, supported by NTUC LearningHub (LHUB), Scoot will be sending some 1,900 flight crew and cabin crew for digital awareness training. This represents more than 75% of Scoot’s total workforce. The training, which will include home-based learning, aims to help participants develop awareness of emerging technologies and build self-confidence in leveraging technology. To date, the first batch of 23 flight crew and cabin crew have completed the training course, with the rest set to follow within the coming months.
This follows through the recent enhanced training and support package for the aviation sector that was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. In addition, NTUC had also previously committed an additional $500,000 that will be made available to help unionised companies in the sector send their workers for training. These schemes aim to help companies save costs while upskilling their workforce – not only in preparation for the future but ultimately to save jobs.
Looking ahead, other courses that will be made available to workers include change management, project management, service excellence related courses and technical training. For example, cabin crew could undergo courses to upgrade their skills in the areas of frontline service while pilots could benefit from training in areas such as managing fatigue. For others, training will be made available in areas such as handling of dangerous goods, cargo documentation, aircraft maintenance amongst others. These efforts will translate to more than 39,500 training days.
Ramping up Training Capacity and Support
As a key training provider, NTUC LHUB is rapidly ramping up its training capacity to meet demand from the various sectors, and this will be augmented by Virtual Live Classes (VLCs) options. NTUC LHUB has curated a series of courses for the Aviation sector, to ensure that Aviation workers can use this downtime to upskill and emerge stronger. The series includes courses on mindset change, service, technology and data.
Mr Kwek Kok Kwong, CEO of NTUC LearningHub said, “Working closely with the Labour Movement and employers, NTUC LearningHub is acting swiftly to help Aviation workers and companies build their resilience and adaptability by gaining new skills. We believe that upskilling is even more important in times of change. It is heartening to see that many trainees have remained positive and have kept their minds so open to upgrading their skills. Companies can also use this time to seize the opportunity to transform, enrich their workforce and keep their eyes on longterm goals. NTUC LearningHub will walk this journey with workers and companies so that together, we can overcome challenges and emerge even stronger.”
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