Workers must be allowed to attend training unrelated to jobs, says NTUC

by L&D25 Jan 2016

Employees should be allowed to use their SkillsFuture credit for training that may not be directly related to their jobs, said the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

The NTUC assistant secretary-general Cham Hui Fong said employers should “expand their horizon” and allow their workers to develop new skills, reported Today Online.

However, Cham acknowledged that this is a big ask, particularly given the challenges facing businesses and the economy.

“What we want to do is really inculcate the training culture within companies,” Cham told Today Online.

“And this is where we hope to get more like-minded employers to also allow the employees to make full use of their SkillsFuture credit and go for courses.

“And it need not be directly relevant because ... if you need them to expand their breadth of skills, then I think we should allow them to pick up new skills.”

Cham added that since Singapore is launching SkillsFuture credits this year, she is sure that some of the sectors doing well or companies that intend to re-position themselves and have a responsibility to their workers would be enlightened enough to go through with this idea.

There were 900 active collective agreements that the unions signed with employers, of which more than a third (320) stipulate the provision of allowing employees to take five days of leave on average for examination or training for courses relevant to their work. However, they must be approved by the company.