New framework to boost digital literacy in Singapore's marine sector

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN) - The new "digital readiness framework", a step-by-step guide, on how workers can boost their productivity, was released as the sector recovers from its gloomy performance last year.

In a bid to improve the digital literacy of the 23,000 Singaporeans working in the marine and offshore industry, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) rolled out a new training initiative to help workers and companies raise their skills.

This "digital readiness framework" is a step-by-step guide on how workers and employers can boost their productivity through the use of technology, recommending curated courses needed to attain these skills, said NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) yesterday (Dec 3).

Courses are graded according to four proficiency levels, with each level aimed at workers with different competencies.

The most basic courses are those aimed at building workers' confidence in and familiarity with digital technologies, such as the use of tablet computers at work.

Beginner courses introduce workers to emerging technologies that are shaping the workplace, while intermediate-level courses impart skills on how to use such technologies to increase their personal productivity.

At the most advanced level, workers can pick up skills in data analytics for businesses, or more specialised digital skills that would broaden their career opportunities.

Speaking at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability on the first day of Marine Week yesterday, NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng said these four competency levels are progressive milestones to guide firms and workers on acquiring digital skill sets.

"The industry is moving towards a smart marine and offshore industry through innovation and productivity improvement, pursuing new growth areas and equipping Singaporeans with relevant skills to be future-ready," said Mr Ng, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office.

The announcement yesterday follows the launch of the marine industry's transformation map in February, and comes as the sector recovers from its gloomy performance last year.

In October this year, marine and offshore engineering expanded by 52.2 per cent year on year, a significant increase from its low base last year.

The new framework will add to another training initiative on advanced manufacturing technologies launched earlier this year, which has also benefited the marine sector, e2i said in a press statement.

Yesterday, the e2i, unions in the marine engineering cluster, trade associations, SkillsFuture Singapore and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology also inked a deal to raise the employability of Singaporean workers in the industry, initially targeting 1,000 professionals, managers, executives and technicians by next year.

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