Speech - Address by Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth, at ITE Industry Partnership Forum, 8 November 2021, 3pm, at ITE Headquarters

News details
  • Publish date:08 Nov 2021

Mr Andrew Chong, Chairman of ITE,

Ms Low Khah Gek, CEO of ITE,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen


A very good afternoon to everyone who has joined us, both physically and virtually. I am delighted to be here at the ITE Industry Partnership Forum. This platform showcases how ITE works with companies to implement new technologies, and help workers learn new skills on the job.


Need to upskill and adapt to New Technologies


Skilled talent is critical for Singapore to retain its status as a global centre for business and innovation. The government will continue to support our local workforce to upgrade their skills, in line with dynamic, global industry trends. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us all how important for our local workforce to be agile and resilient, to remain globally competitive. 


We also observe that COVID-19 has accelerated trends like digitalization. We will continue to support our workers and local enterprises to adopt these new technologies to enhance productivity.

Empowering our workforce by helping them acquire and be recognized for skills on the job 


Amidst this changing landscape, ITE has played a vital role to help companies empower their workforce, in partnership with the industry. ITE has helped companies to build their in-house training capabilities, recognize skills that their workers have picked up on the job, and introduce new ideas to increase their productivity. These initiatives can help our businesses be more agile and sustainable. 


Together with industry partners, ITE has set up the in-house on-the-job (OJT) training system. The system helps workers to pick up new skills for their jobs quickly, recognize transferable skills and certify new skills through the ITE Certified On-theJob Training Centre (COJTC)[1], ITE Approved Training Centre (ATC)[2] and the ITE Work-Study Diploma programme, to name a few.


Win-Win Partnership for Workplace Learning with Employers  


To better serve the needs of the industry and support workplace learning for companies, ITE has reviewed its COJTC framework with three key enhancements. First, it helps companies develop their job blueprints. Second, it teaches company trainers to train their colleagues in the relevant new skills through ITE’s Train-theTrainer (TTT) programme. Lastly, participating companies will issue a digital certificate to their employees who complete their OJT training.


The COJTC has helped 350 companies build a structured, in-house on-the-job training system, trained companies’ in-house trainers, and created a system for the companies to credentialise their employees’ skills when they complete their training.



[1] ITE Certified On-the-Job Training Centre (COJTC) is accredited for structured OJT and good OJT practices.  ITE will work with COJTC partners to embark on a workplace learning journey to support business growth and transformation.

[2] Organisation with the capability and facilities to conduct training and assessment based on ITE’s curriculum requirements can be endorsed as an ITE Approved Training Centre (ATC) to train their employees in attaining ITE certification.



One such beneficiary and partner is Initia Group, which specialises in F&B and beauty businesses. Since last December, ITE has been working with Initia to help its workers learn. ITE helped Initia set up a structured OJT system to identify its skills gaps and guided them in developing job blueprints. It also helped train Initia’s company trainers through ITE’s TTT programme. They have now started conducting in-house training. Employees are also given OJT certificates to recognize the new skills they picked up. To date, Initia has clocked more than 10,000 OJT hours with three trainers and 15 employees since it started its COJTC journey.


Initia also saw its sales surge by 30%, and a 50% increase in customer retention for their beauty business. It also saw increased rapport among its staff. Because its employees now have a better understanding of its company policies, Initia could more easily redeploy staff across different job functions where needed, allowing for greater versatility, and expanding growth and progression opportunities within its teams. 


Developing Competent Company Trainers


Of course, company trainers play a key role in these programmes. Annually, more than 1,200 company trainers participate in the ITE Train-the-Trainer (TTT) Programme. Some go on to attain the ITE Certified Industry Trainer or Advanced Certified Industry Trainer certificate. These qualified trainers then help their colleagues learn new skills.


I am pleased to note that today, 41 trainers will be conferred the Certified Industry Trainer certificate, and three of them will receive the Advanced Industry Trainer Certificate (ACIT) after completing their training on OJT Coaching, Pedagogy and Curriculum Development. Attaining the ACIT is certainly not easy. Recipients must have obtained the necessary academic and professional qualifications, possess relevant post-training and working experiences, and passed a panel interview. They must also have demonstrated that they have applied their newly acquired skills at their respective workplaces.


One ACIT recipient is Ms Rajamony Sumathi. Rajamony has been a Staff Nurse at St. Joseph’s Home for 18 years. St. Joseph Home sent her for the TTT course and supported her with flexible training leave so she could attend all the training sessions. Rajamony picked up new skills and confidence, and shared her knowledge with her colleagues. Amidst the pandemic, it’s encouraging to see how healthcare workers like Rajamony can pick up new skills. Well done Rajamony, and thank you for your service to the nation!   


Workplace Innovation & Solutioning for Business Transformation


Finally, ITE also works with industry partners to use innovative technology to enhance partners’ productivity. ITE staff and students work on these projects with industry to come up with ideas and prototype new processes. This gives both industry and our ITE participants valuable knowledge and experience.


One example is ITE’s collaboration with Blue Ocean Aquaculture Technology.  They had set up the High-Tech Recirculation Aquaculture System (RAS)[3] at College East for intensive aquaculture, primarily farming jade perch. It deploys an Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring system to remotely monitor and use data to monitor the growth and yield of fishes. The collaboration seeks to enhance Omega 3 oil yield from the fish by optimising feed, automating segregation of fish fry according to size, and monitoring fish feeding using Artificial Intelligence of Things (AloT).


Through this collaboration, Blue Ocean Aquaculture Technology will provide technical advice on how to use the setup and equipment. It plans to engage ITE staff and students from the Higher Nitec in Mechanical Engineering, Higher Nitec in Electronic Engineering, and Higher Nitec in Biotechnology courses to explore innovative solutions and technology including automation to value add to their business. The impact created will also give a head-start for ITE graduates to work in the sector. This collaboration is a win-win approach, and I would strongly encourage more companies to explore such collaborations with ITE.




In these challenging times, our industries must continue to demonstrate resilience and innovation. We do this by transforming our industries, upgrading our workforce and adopting new technologies and solutions. This will ensure that Singapore is able to emerge stronger in the post-COVID world.


It is encouraging to see the fruits of labour by ITE and its industry partners, to transform workplace learning and promote the adoption of new tech solutions within the industry. Thank you again, for pressing on with your efforts to help our companies transform and help our workers and students learn, grow, upskill and build.  



Thank you.


[3] RAS is a system for fish production, where water exchange is limited and biofiltration is required to maintain clean water that provides a suitable habitat for the fish. The main benefit of RAS is the ability to reduce the need for fresh, clean water while still maintaining a healthy environment for the fish.