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Singapore’s SMEs to receive training to boost productivity, innovation

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Following reports on the talent shortage in Singapore and strict regulation on foreign workers, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) have launched the Mentorship for Accelerating Productivity programme (MAP).

The programme has been launched for local companies to boost their productivity and innovation.

An enhancement of the previous Empowering Efficiency and Excellence (3E) programme, the MAP is designed for companies to embark on productivity projects which reduce manpower needs, minimise processing errors, and enhance customer satisfaction.

The WDA has set aside over $1 million for this programme which will groom up to 300 in-house productivity champions from 60 companies.

Through MAP, participating companies will benefit from a holistic approach towards raising productivity and gain invaluable guidance on raising awareness of productivity and identifying enterprise productivity gaps by industry advisors.

ALSO READ: The impact of SMEs on jobs, productivity and wages

This new initiative was launched by Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Manpower, at SBF’s Singapore Productivity Conference and Exhibition 2015 – a platform that aims to inspire local companies with new business insights, innovations and productivity solutions.

The jointly organised event by SBF and WDA saw about 450 attendees and featured useful business insights and success stories by thought-leaders.

“Creating a manpower-lean and competitive economy continues to be crucial for Singapore. This is especially so as Singapore is faced with a tight labour market and ageing population. Only by helping enterprises raise productivity can we create better jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans”, said Teo in his opening address.

Ng Cher Pong, chief executive of WDA, said: “SMEs that wish to boost their productivity and become more manpower-lean will be able to embark on MAP to groom in-house productivity champions under the mentorship of productivity consultants. By building such in-house capabilities, SMEs can achieve continuous improvements to overcome business challenges and achieve manpower savings in the long run.”

Teo encouraged Singapore companies to learn more about such government assistance programmes and actively participate in them.

“For productivity schemes, we are heartened to see a good take-up so far. Most of our firms are now engaged in thinking about productivity, with many having adopted basic solutions. MAP will also complement the recently launched Lean Enterprise Development Scheme to help SMEs be more manpower lean and develop a stronger Singaporean core and I strongly urge SMEs to participate in MAP,” he added.

READ MORE: New HR platform for SMEs in Singapore

Image: Shutterstock

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