Workforce Singapore (WSG) will be collaborating with the Association of Early Childhood and Training Service (ASSETS) and Association for Early Childhood Educators Singapore (AECES) to develop two initiatives to meet the increasing demand for talent in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) sector, it said in a statement yesterday.
The initiatives are the Progressive HR Practices Early Adopter Programme for Early Childhood (EC) operators, and the SkillsFuture Career Advisors Programme for job seekers interested to join the sector.
The initiatives was announced on Tuesday (11 April) by Minister of State Manpower & Mayor, North East CDC, Mr Teo Ser Luck at the first ECCE Leadership & HR Conference co-organised by WSG and ASSETs.
The half-day conference was held to raise awareness of the role that leaders and HR professionals have on workplace culture, workplace happiness and retention of talent. The conference was also an opportunity to provide a platform for industry players to network and share best practices in HR and leadership. About 200 guests attended the conference.
Progressive HR Practices Early Adopter Programme
WSG stated that the Progressive HR Practices Early Adopter Programme, which was developed by WSG in consultation with ASSETS, aims to help EC operators address the challenges of employee retention. Under the programme, HR consultants will train, mentor and guide EC operators to implement proven HR practices and good leadership, so as to foster a workplace culture and environment that focuses on employee welfare, personnel development and mentoring, and build quality workplaces that foster employee engagement and loyalty.
Under the programme, HR consultants will train, mentor and guide EC operators to implement proven HR practices and good leadership, so as to foster a workplace culture and environment that focuses on employee welfare, personnel development and mentoring, and build quality workplaces that foster employee engagement and loyalty.
It noted that more than 20 EC operators have signed up since the programme was introduced in February 2017, benefitting 2,800 employees in their preschools.
Ms Peh Li Lin, Director of Zee Schoolhouse Pte Ltd, who operates four childcare centres said, “Many operators including ourselves are experiencing a manpower crunch. By embarking on this programme, we can learn how to recruit and select the right people whose values are aligned to our organisation”.
“We also want to improve the working environment and have happier employees by introducing best practices in employee engagement and retention. High attrition is a cost to us, and it also reduces the organisation’s productivity,” she added.
SkillsFuture Career Advisors Programme
WSG stated that the SkillsFuture Career Advisors Programme for ECCE is a new initiative under Adapt and Grow, targeted at job seekers.
Developed by WSG and AECES, the programme aims to build a pool of career advisors who will provide career advisory and assist job seekers with their understanding of careers in ECCE and the criteria and aptitude required to join the sector.
To date, a total of 24 professionals, comprising of centre leaders, pre-school teachers and curriculum specialists, have volunteered their time as career advisors to job seekers interested in an early childhood career.
It noted that the programme’s efforts to connect potential job seekers with experienced incumbents will help them make better-informed career decisions about joining the sector, and minimise mismatches in their job search, which in turn will enhance the sector’s efforts to attract and retain talent.
Commenting on the initiatives, Chief Executive of Workforce Singapore, Mr Tan Choon Shian said, “These initiatives for the ECCE sectors are significant, in that they help enhance the sector’s ability to attract talent, and offer rewarding and fulfilling careers to Singaporeans”.
“This is also made even more crucial as the early years are critical in shaping the foundation of a child’s development, and having the right talent in the sector is important,” he stated.