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 The skid can also be used to train the workers to be multi-skilled. “Even if they are not from the same core skill when they are working in the field, they are able to appreciate the work of other disciplines to improve their safety and coordination. And the skid also allows us to run supervisory skills – how do you manage to supervise a multi-skill, multi- discipline project? So that takes our training to another level,” Mr Quek added.
The centre is a hit amongst residents. Apart from mandatory courses on safety and core skills, which are paid by companies, residents on their own accord turn up on evenings and weekends to attend courses on a broad range of subjects.
“We have identified about 34 courses that are suitable for them, from the entry level to supervisory level, including safety, soft skills, literacy, even Excel course. All these are 90% subsidised from the course fee, sponsored by ASPRI, not from any government funding. So, it empowers workers who stay in Jalan Papan to come over,” said Ms Lee.
Based on AITC’s training statistics, at least 80% of the workers have attended at least one course on their own accord, as they appreciate that skill upgrading is their passport to better work prospects. The certificates they receive are recognised by companies in the region as
well as the Middle East.
“Workers attend our training because they want a better future for their families. And they know that by going for proper structured training and upgrading themselves, not only can they work in Singapore, they can work elsewhere where they will be considered skilled workers. That’s the first reason,” said Ms Lee. “Second reason, if they are unskilled, they can only work 14 years in Singapore, but if they are skilled, they can work for 26 years. So that also prolong their employment if they want to
Developing to its own beat
Today, the AITC conducts courses for entry level workers to supervisors. Everything on its curriculum is in sync with industry requirements. It has a Technical Advisory committee comprising EC members representing different trades. “The AITC Technical Training Advisory Committee (A-TAC) drives us in terms of technical knowledge and even industry best practices, and we work with different parties to make it happen,” Ms Lee said.
Having established the basics, AITC has set its sights higher. It is in the midst of partnering international certification bodies to roll out industry recognised deep skilling courses for supervisors and foremen to hone their technical capability. The supervisory courses it currently conducts are all safety related – to meet the requirements of MOM and plant owners.
The industry demands it. Most plant owners are multinationals who set high standards for every façade of their operation, including the qualification of workers employed by sub-
  Strong take-up
amongst dorm residents

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