Let employees attend training not directly relevant to jobs, says NTUC

January 26, 20168:00 am261 views

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) yesterday called on employers to “expand their horizon” — in the words of NTUC assistant secretary-general Cham Hui Fong — by allowing workers to tap on the SkillsFuture credit for training that may not be directly related to their jobs.

Nevertheless, Ms Cham acknowledged this could be a big request, given the moderating economy and challenging business conditions.

“What we want to do is really inculcate the training culture within companies,” Ms Cham said. “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.”

But she noted: “With such an economy, we’re not too sure whether this is the opportune time for us to push (this). But if we’re launching SkillsFuture credits this year, I’m sure some of the sectors doing well or companies that intend to re-position themselves and have a responsibility to their workers should be enlightened enough to adopt this.”

Among the 900 active collective agreements that the unions signed with employers, more than a third, or 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 and approved by the company.

Meanwhile, figures from NTUC showed a large jump in the number of enquiries it received from professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) — from 424 in 2014, to 729 last year. The labour movement has stepped up its outreach to this group of workers in non-unionised companies. The queries are mainly related to labour laws, non-payment of salary and work termination, NTUC said.

The number of industrial relations cases handled by NTUC also went up, from 1,953 in 2014 to 2,851 last year.


news source: todayonline.com

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