Top Stories


    Jun 12, 2014

    Going for training? Then read this

    MORE companies sent workers for training courses and reported better outcomes, such as higher productivity, according to two surveys released by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) yesterday.

    In general, feedback has been positive for the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) courses developed by the WDA.

    But two anomalies stood out.

    First, while workers were convinced that the training made them better, only about two in 10 received a higher pay later.

    Second, only half of all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) polled are sending their workers for training - a far cry from their larger counterparts.

    WDA polled 1,480 companies and 8,270 employees for its outcomes evaluation survey.

    Some 77 per cent of employers said productivity has gone up after the courses and 95 per cent of workers said they are now able to perform more effectively and efficiently.

    But only 19 per cent of employees had a pay rise and just 12 per cent were promoted, post-training.

    Kenneth Wong, director of WDA's corporate and marketing communications division, said that training alone may not lead to promotions or pay increments.

    "Other factors such as workers' aptitude, length of service also (contribute) to an individual's career advancement," said Mr Wong. "This is also dependent on the company's business performance."

    Ronald Lee, managing director of human resource firm PrimeStaff Management Services, added that the "objective of training must be clear".

    "If I want to promote somebody, I will send the person for training that will prepare the person for that role. But if it is for the purpose of upgrading and keeping in touch with the marketplace, it cannot be equated straightaway to a pay rise and promotion," he said.

    Singapore Human Resources Institute president Erman Tan noted that some workers who were sent for training are those whose performance is sub-par.

    Meanwhile, the awareness and adoption survey, which polled 7,480 companies, showed that only 52 per cent of SMEs sent workers for courses. In contrast, 86 per cent of the bigger firms did so.

    Ang Yuit, vice-president for membership and training at the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, said that manpower shortage plays "a major part in companies deciding to send staff for training".

    He added: "So they are very careful in evaluating whether the training outcome can directly improve the performance of the staff and how this contributes to the company in terms of better productivity."

    But some bosses told My Paper that the workers' attitude was as important as training.

    Tan Kok Wee, training and development manager at cleaning firm Clean Solutions, said: "I can send the workers for training so they perform better. But whether they really do so is still a question mark because it is not something that we have full control over."

    Samuel Yik, managing director of roast duck restaurant Dian Xiao Er, said: "In the service line, your mindset and attitude are important. If you have the right attitude, you will have the right actions. A lot of the learning also comes from on-the-job training."