The MOU was inked by (seated from left) Dr Ow Chee Chung, Chief Executive, Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, Mr Ong Tze-Ch’in, Chief Executive, SkillsFuture Singapore, and Professor Tan Thiam Soon, President, SIT; and witnessed by (standing from left) Mr Patrick Lee Kwok Kie, Chairman, Board of Directors, Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital and Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Education and Second Minister for Finance.
At a visit to the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) today, Minister for Education Mr Lawrence Wong announced the appointment of Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital (KWSH) as the first SkillsFuture Queen Bee partnership for the Community Care sector. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was inked between KWSH, SIT and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) to support KWSH in skills and talent development, and through this, enhance the standard of care in the sector.
The National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning at SIT (NACE@SIT) – the first workplace learning centre in an Autonomous University – was also officially launched today with the unveiling of ’The Learning Enterprise’ commemorative book. NACE@SIT will deliver workplace learning projects and develop a community of learning organisations that will support enterprises, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in building their workplace learning systems and capabilities.
Championing KWSH as a SkillsFuture Queen Bee in Community Care
The SkillsFuture Queen Bee partnership with KWSH aims to reach out to 100 enterprises in the Community Care sector to build up their capabilities over the next three years. KWSH will galvanise other partners to pilot projects in healthcare innovation, process improvement, technology adoption and workplace learning, as well as support the expansion of job roles and the deepening of skills in the sector. For a start, KWSH will share expertise in areas such as AI wound solution, Lean transformation and community care skills training.
- Technology and Process Innovation Projects: Using an integrated approach of enterprise change management, KWSH will work with Community Care Organisations (CCOs) to identify common issues and develop solutions for technology and process improvement. KWSH will also facilitate collaborations between CCOs and value chain partners to increase enterprise productivity and accelerate technology adoption.
- Skills Training Workshops: Through its Community Training Institute (CTI), KWSH will deliver masterclasses to leaders and professionals within the CCOs and their value chain partners, on business environment analysis, strategy development and monitoring of effectiveness. KWSH will also conduct workshops covering topics relevant to CCOs, such as digitalisation, change management, agile thinking and digital transformation, to strengthen their service delivery model.
- Skills Training Plans and Placement Programmes: KWSH will work with CCOs to identify skills gaps, and develop training plans and solutions to strengthen their capabilities and uplift care standards. KWSH will also support partners to develop, train and place programmes for in-demand job roles such as Healthcare Assistants. This will increase employment opportunities and enhance career progression in the Community Care sector.
As part of the MOU, NACE@SIT will also tap on SIT’s network and experience in applied learning and best-in-class practices, to support KWSH in identifying skills gaps in the sector and training for the Community Care sector.
Dr Ow Chee Chung, CEO, KWSH, said, “Through this strategic partnership with SSG and NACE@SIT, we are able to sharpen, as well as deepen, the courses and training available at KWSH CTI. In addition, with this mandate and the resources from our collaboration, we will be able to reach out to more CCOs, thereby enhancing the skills of the sector and improving our standard of care.”
Launch of NACE@SIT
NACE@SIT is an extension of the NACE eco-system to establish more centres to build up workplace learning capabilities of enterprises and SMEs. NACE@SIT will focus on the community care sector as one of its priority sectors. Over the next five years, the initiative aims to benefit 700 enterprises in three ways:
- Leverage SIT’s SkillsFuture Work-Study programmes to provide training and mentorship to participating students and enterprises, as well as build up the workplace learning capability of enterprises.
- Drive workplace solutions by implementing workplace learning practices for enterprise transformation. NACE@SIT will partner international workplace learning experts to impart best-in-class training practices and provide certification of trainers.
- Share best practices and success stories of workplace learning journeys through fostering a community of learning organisations.
The Centre will also develop customised solutions to strengthen in-house training systems to support talent attraction, development and retention.
“As a University of Applied Learning, SIT strives to champion workplace learning as an integral component of the work-learn continuum. Through NACE@SIT, the first workplace learning centre in an Autonomous University, we hope to help organisations like KWSH build workplace competencies and facilitate employees’ learning at their work environment. SIT will continue to expand our suite of integrated industry solutions to build a strong skills ecosystem and workplace learning culture in organisations,” said Professor Tan Thiam Soon, President, SIT.
“The strategic partnerships with KWSH as a SkillsFuture Queen Bee and with NACE@SIT are part of the next bound of SkillsFuture. We aim to drive up employer participation in skills and workforce development. We also aim to strengthen workplace training capabilities, which is an important enabler. We envisage that these partnerships that we have signed today will help to transform the Community Care sector and deepen skills in the workforce,” said Mr Ong Tze Chin, Chief Executive, SSG.
Launch of Commemorative Book – ‘The Learning Enterprise’
Commemorating the launch of NACE@SIT was the unveiling of a book, ‘The Learning Enterprise’, which documents the learning journey of SIT with the first four local companies pioneering in workplace learning and Lean transformation. The book illustrates how the four companies – National Heart Centre Singapore, Four Seasons Catering, Shalom Movers and KWSH – improve their processes and build a culture of continuous learning by introducing Lean Thinking philosophies and engaging employees in co-creating solutions for long-term productivity gains. Please refer to Annex A for more details.
“This book aims to share best practices and organisational transformational strategies, which we have developed with our partner organisations, with the intent to build new capabilities in innovations and work process improvements,” said Mr Arthur Poh, Director, NACE@SIT. The Centre hopes to publish case studies on the workplace learning journeys of its partner organisations every year, to provide better insights and perspectives on workplace learning. “Leveraging SIT’s expertise, NACE@SIT will foster best-in-class workplace learning andragogy to benefit organisations in Singapore,” he added.
Donation to establish Sing Lun Scholarship at SIT
The event also commemorated a $1 million donation from Mr Patrick Lee Kwok Kie, Chairman of Sing Lun Holdings Pte Ltd, President of Yangzheng Foundation, and Chairman of KWSH’s Board of Directors, in support of the new Sing Lun Scholarship.
Mr Lee’s gift will enable SIT to award two Sing Lun Scholarships in Academic Year 2021/22, and at least six scholarships annually from the following academic years. Valued at $10,000 each, the endowed Sing Lun Scholarship aims to nurture academically outstanding undergraduates at SIT, who have also made significant contributions to SIT or the community beyond their academic studies. Scholarship recipients are encouraged to volunteer for at least 12 days during the academic year, and to continue to participate in meaningful community projects in the key areas of need.
“SIT is thankful for the unwavering support from Mr Patrick Lee Kwok Kie, who has set up the endowed Yangzheng Foundation Bursary to help SIT’s financially-disadvantaged undergraduates since 2013. His philanthropic leadership will greatly benefit our students, and support SIT’s projects and community initiatives,” added Professor Tan Thiam Soon.
 Priority sectors are community care, energy, transport maintenance, logistics and food innovation.
|‘The Learning Enterprise’ – The book features four case studies on how the following organisations build their workplace competencies and facilitate workplace learning:
Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital: KWSH began her Lean journey with SIT in 2018, and in the space of two years, more than 20 staff have been trained in the necessary Lean skill sets which empower them, as Lean Champions, to spearhead various transformation projects within the organisation. Having been appointed as a Community Training Institute (CTI) in Singapore, KWSH is now tasked with a greater role as Lead Enterprise, to catalyse the Lean and Innovation mindset among the Community Care sector. This case study looks into how the organisation has managed to reduce the workload for its staff.
A team of nurses from KWSH took part in a six-month Lean skills development programme with SIT, where they successfully improved the management of morning shift tasks, notably the bathing process of patients. Said Director of Nursing, KWSH, Ms Jessy Chang Yut Keng, “Through the application of Lean tools, my team learnt about redundancies in the bathing process, and came up with more efficient processes and workload balance. By the end of the programme, we cut down the bathing time of patients and also freed up nurses to work on other value-added tasks.”
National Heart Centre Singapore: In a bid to improve the patient experience and find an approach that would complement its ongoing quality improvement initiatives, NHCS decided to introduce Lean Thinking in 2017. The NHCS team has completed five Lean Skills Development Programmes delivered by SIT to date, each focusing on a patient-facing process. Among the issues addressed were long wait times for patients at the Specialist Outpatient Clinics, wait times for Echocardiography appointments, and wait times for patients to get their medication from the pharmacy. These Lean projects resulted in significant reduction in the wait time, better use of resources and improved patient satisfaction. The overall experience of NHCS with Lean Thinking was extremely positive, and two new projects were initiated in 2020.
Four Seasons Catering: As business grew, the catering company faced challenges in managing complex processes, including organising its warehouse and managing excessive inventory. Four Seasons Catering embarked on its Lean journey in April 2018 and the results have been astounding. In the warehouse, storage space was cut by more than half, and the time it took to pack one order was reduced by 5 minutes (a 20% gain). In the dry kitchen, the reorganisation translated to a marked reduction in work processing for ordering and restocking.
Shalom Movers: SMEs often find themselves struggling with ever-increasing operational costs in a tight labour crunch. These problems are more eminent in the logistics industry, which relies heavily on manpower and less receptive to technological innovations.
Shalom Movers participated in the Lean Skills Development Programme at SIT in October 2017 with the aim to improve operational efficiency and upskill its workforce. Thanks to the adaptiveness of its staff, the company reaped tangible results, such as increased productivity and shorter process time. Redesign in warehouse operations resulted in the deployment of excess staff to higher functions. The greatest change as a result of Lean was the mindset shift in the people and their yearning for continuous improvement.
About Singapore Institute of Technology
Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) is Singapore’s University of Applied Learning, offering applied degree programmes targeted at growth sectors of the economy. With a mission to nurture and develop individuals who impact society in meaningful ways, SIT aims to be a leader in innovative learning by integrating learning, industry and community.
The university’s unique pedagogy integrates work and study by incorporating applied research for students to work on real industry problems and creating solutions that meet industry needs. SIT also advocates the work-learn continuum, which places an emphasis on upskilling and lifelong learning
For more information, visit www.SingaporeTech.edu.sg.
The National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning (NACE@SIT) is the first workplace learning centre set up in an Autonomous University. Supported by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), NACE@SIT combines SIT’s expertise and its global expert networks to help organisations, especially SMEs, build workplace competencies. For more information, visit www.singaporetech.edu.sg/NACE.
About SkillsFuture Singapore
SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) will drive and coordinate the implementation of the national SkillsFuture movement, promote a culture of lifelong learning and strengthen the ecosystem of quality education and training in Singapore. Through a holistic system of national SkillsFuture initiatives, SSG enables Singaporeans to take charge of their learning journey in their pursuit of skills mastery. SSG will also work with key stakeholders to ensure that students and adults have access to high quality and industry-relevant training that meet the demands of different sectors of the economy for an innovative and productive workforce. For more information, visit www.ssg.gov.sg.
About Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital
Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital (KWSH) is a 110-year-old charitable healthcare organisation and is registered as an Institution of Public Character, committed to looking after the sick and needy. In the last century, it has continued the strong tradition of community service, having cared for many generations of Singaporeans, beginning its legacy in 1910 even before Singapore’s independence. It is now one of the most established providers in the ILTC (Intermediate and Long Term Care) sector.
At present, KWSH operates a nursing home, a rehabilitation centre, a traditional Chinese medicine centre, three community care centres and offers home care services. Many of its patients are from the lower-income group and their fees are heavily subsidised. KWSH also runs a community training institute catering to the training needs of its staff and the sector.
To better serve the rapidly ageing population, KWSH has undergone redevelopment to be transformed into an integrated community healthcare hub, providing healthcare services to its residents and the community. With the completion of the redevelopment in 2018, KWSH is now the largest single-site nursing home with over 600 beds as well as expansion in its other services.
Visit www.kwsh.org.sg for more information.
About Sing Lun Holdings Pte Ltd
Founded in 1951, Sing Lun started as a textile trading company but has since successfully diversified into a privately-owned enterprise with a diverse range of business interests worldwide. The Group's key business interests include industries, investments and real estate. Through Vac-Tech Engineering, a subsidiary of Sing Lun Industrial, a company that uses advanced high-tech equipment, specialized knowledge, that provides specialize integrated plant maintenance, hazardous waste logistics and management services for the oil majors, Sing Lun has been working with SIT to pioneer and develop innovative technology and solutions to meet their customers’ needs.