Wednesday, September 08, 2004

WDA fine-tunes job matching and training 

As a follow up to yesterday’s post “Executive search consultant recommends the sack” as well as a much earlier post “No job after training” in June, the following excerpt from today’s edition of The Straits Times talks about how a government training and job-placement programme has been modified.

Some workers quit one month after being placed in a job. Others complained they did not get the job they were placed for. It is a situation which has prompted the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) to fine-tune its year-old job matching and training programmes to ensure fewer trainees quit. The changes also aim to provide a better job fit for the out-of-work Singaporeans it is trying to help. “We have learnt our lessons,” WDA director of industry division Teo Sio Hoon told The Straits Times.

The WDA recognised the need to tweak certain Place-and-Train schemes in sectors like textiles, aerospace and electronics, so that training funds do not get wasted. In the textiles sector, for instance, sewers in garment factories will now receive follow-up support such as counselling and personal sewing tutorials... Other programmes the WDA has tweaked include...a...programme for the electronics sector...[W]orkers hired as technicians were first “immersed” in the job to get a first-hand feel of the work. A three-month government-funded training programme began shortly afterwards. Prior to this, workers underwent training immediately upon being recruited and were then sent on the job... The WDA is similarly changing its [aerospace] programme by placing trainees in technical jobs with aerospace companies prior to sending them for training — rather than the other way around. Training will also now be customised to meet the needs of the companies.
The modified schemes are more complicated to run, but should be worth the additional effort involved to ensure that more appropriate training is provided to match the requirements of the available jobs. And I find it refreshing to see the WDA being so forthright about having learnt its lesson and seeing the need to modify its scheme.


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