SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN) – The scheme helps SMEs reduce their reliance on foreign manpower and drive productivity and business growth through the use of technology.
Over 5,200 companies have benefitted from a government program to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reduce their reliance on foreign manpower, adopt manpower-lean initiatives, create better-paying jobs and drive productivity and business growth through the use of technology.
The update released on Nov 17 comes two years after the Lean Enterprise Development (LED) program was introduced in October 2015.
Nearly 1,000 companies supported by the LED scheme this year have adopted over 40 government pre-approved ready-to-go (RTG) solutions designed for various industries and business functions, according to a joint release by the Ministry of Manpower, Spring Singapore and Workforce Singapore.
The LED initiatives range from optimization of technology and automation to the adoption of progressive human resource practices.
These efforts can be undertaken by individual companies or at the level of clusters.
Cluster projects offer benefits through economies of scale, helping companies access technology and solutions without having to expressly invest in hardware and resources. Companies can pilot smaller-scale projects which they can then translate into larger scale and long-term transformations.
They were also encouraged on Friday to tap a new scheme to source trainers locally and from overseas, in order to help workers pick up skills and knowledge which may be lacking in Singapore. The Capability Transfer Program, launched by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) last month, subsidizes the salary and training for both foreign and local trainers, and local trainees by between 30 per cent and 90 per cent. It can also fund on-the-job training overseas.
Also on Friday, 14 companies shared their experiences after embarking on LED projects in 2016 at the second LED symposium.
It was attended by more than 1,000 individuals from a range of sectors including food services, construction, food manufacturing, ICT and media, professional services, electronics, hotels, logistics, and precision engineering.
The event was organized by the LED Taskforce and led by Spring Singapore, Workforce Singapore, the National Trades Union Congress and tripartite partners, in collaboration with the Singapore National Employers Federation.
By Ann Williams