FDAWU seals jobs and skills training partnership with Ascott to prepare Ascott's workforce for jobs of the future
Industry’s first training partnership echoes NTUC’s call to form Company Training Committees to prepare workers for industry transformation
Singapore, 19 March 2019 – The Food, Drinks and Allied Workers Union (FDAWU) and The Ascott Limited (Ascott) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to form a Company Training Committee, comprising union representatives and Ascott management, and design employee training programmes to equip Ascott employees with skills needed to keep up with industry transformation.
Upskilling employees through Company Training Committee
The Committee will identify jobs that are likely to be disrupted due to industry transformation and jobs that will be created in new business growth areas; and map out new skills and competencies the employees need to take on new or redesigned jobs. It will also find relevant training to help employees embrace change, leverage technology such as the use of robotics or artificial intelligence and adapt to the new job roles.
This jobs and skills training partnership, a first between FDAWU and Ascott, and in the hospitality industry, echoes the Labour Movement’s strategy of transforming workers in tandem with industry transformation through the ground up efforts of Company Training Committees.
Ms Julie Cheong, President, FDAWU said: “Every employee has a role to play in this transformation journey, to keep learning and constantly reinventing oneself. With the operationalisation of the Employee Training Programme that provides for targeted retraining and upskilling initiatives, employees will be able to apply what they have learned in their existing positions to improve the way work is done or use them to successfully transit into the jobs of the future. This is the only way our employees can continue to develop their capabilities and remain relevant.”
Mr Ervin Yeo, Ascott’s Regional General Manager for Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia, said: “Ascott’s training partnership with FDAWU is one of the ways we are proactively upskilling our employees to prepare them for the future economy. We will work with the union to ensure our staff are equipped with relevant skills. Our global hospitality training centre, Ascott Centre for Excellence (ACE) will leverage its trainers’ international experience, and NTUC’s research to develop training programmes for our employees. Ascott employees are also getting on-the-job training as we redesign our work processes and pilot various technologies. We will continue to invest in upgrading our staff’s capabilities to ensure that we have a dynamic and digitally savvy workforce to drive Ascott’s growth.”
Breaking transformation down into actionable parts
The signing of the MOU on the jobs and skills training partnership between FDAWU and Ascott was witnessed by NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General Koh Poh Koon, who later took a tour of Ascott Orchard Singapore, one of Ascott’s premier serviced residences. During the tour, Ascott demonstrated the use of self-check in kiosks with facial recognition, which it is piloting at the property. Ascott also showcased its automated workflow management system that automates the scheduling of services such as housekeeping and maintenance, and tracks guests’ requests, resulting in improved operational efficiencies.
On the jobs and skills training partnership, DSG Koh said: “The ground up Company Training Committee approach adopted by FDAWU and Ascott is a good example of how management and union can work together and take the first step towards breaking transformation down into smaller, clearer and actionable parts for both the management and employees. The outcome we want to see is for the company to ride upon the transformation waves, succeed and grow; and for the employees to be better skilled for the future and share in the company’s gains. This is making industry transformation real for companies and employees.”
In addition to training by ACE, Ascott’s Company Training Committee will tap on the extensive network of resources from training partners like NTUC LearningHub, NTUC-initiated Hospitality ABC Network, NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability) as well as agencies like Singapore Tourism Board (STB), SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG), to create an eco-system that supports the learning and development of employees in Ascott.
FDAWU’s collaboration with Ascott is built on Ascott’s commitment to learning, where employees are encouraged and given the support to attend at least 40 hours of classroom and/or online classes per employee yearly.
The training partnership follows NTUC and Ascott’s earlier efforts towards building a future-ready hospitality workforce. In January 2018, ACE joined the NTUC-initiated Hospitality ABC Network to enhance the skills of hospitality professionals in Singapore. The Network aims to curate accessible and bite-sized training programmes for hospitality professionals to keep pace with the industry’s transformation and equip them to take on higher-value added roles.