Mr Roland Ng, President of Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI),
Mr Tan Tong Hai, Chairman of Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP),
Leaders and representatives from Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs),
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Good morning. Thank you for inviting me to speak at the Launch of the Growth Model and Competency Framework for Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs).
2. In March last year, during the Committee of Supply debate, I had announced that a new competency framework will be established to upgrade the core capabilities of our TACs. Today, I am delighted to launch the Competency Framework as well as Growth Model for TACs.
3. I would like to thank SCCCI and supporting partners like the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) for your contributions in this vital effort.
4. Let me say a few words in Mandarin.
The pandemic has increased the impetus for businesses to transform. TACs similarly need to evolve to support businesses.
5. COVID-19 has brought unprecedented challenges to the global business landscape. While companies are reconfiguring their business models to stay competitive and relevant, TACs play a key role in helping businesses overcome challenges and capture new opportunities.
6. It is hence timely that the Growth Model and Competency Framework is being launched today. The framework and resources are designed to help TACs identify the gaps and relevant skills required by the TACs to better attract, retain, and develop the right talent. It will also help our TACs gain new skills to further support the transformation and development of their member enterprises.
7. The Growth Model will enhance the TACs and the key roles they play in supporting and developing enterprises in Singapore. Allow me to elaborate on the areas where the TACs play an important part as they serve the business community during this crucial period of economic recovery.
The three key roles of TACs are advocacy, collaboration, and innovation.
8. First, “Advocacy”. TACs are the voice of our businesses. They represent and advocate the needs of the local business community and act as important intermediaries providing insightful feedback and suggestions to the Government.
a. For instance, SCCI’s Annual Business Survey and dialogues conducted by various TACs have provided valuable and timely feedback from the business community to the Government.
b. These insights and engagement help the Government better align our policies and plans to the needs of the industries.
9. Second, “Collaboration”. I am happy to witness the signing of the MOU between SCCCI and Nanyang Polytechnic today. This is an excellent example of the collaborative power of TACs.
a. The two parties, SCCCI and Nanyang Polytechnic, will co-develop a course curriculum designed for the TAC Competency Framework to upskill the secretariat staff in TACs.
b. The course will equip TAC secretariat staff to gain important skills to become “Industry Development” executives, who can work alongside their member companies to build capabilities, grow the industry and internationalise.
c. Such collaborations enable TACs to tap on a wider pool of resources, and create greater value for their members as well as our wider business community.
10. Third, “Innovation”. Innovation is imperative for Singapore's long-term competitiveness, and especially so in view rapid business and technological cycles accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past two years, many TACs have stepped up to adopt new and innovative solutions to help their members adapt to the fast-changing business environment.
a. For example, in early 2021, SCCCI converted an existing shared facility space in the TA Hub into a Live Streaming Studio which companies can use to reach out to the international market. This was a timely move which helped firms overcome closed borders and travel restrictions due to the pandemic.
b. In another example, the Singapore School & Private Hire Bus Owners’ Association (SSPHBOA), supported by ESG and in partnership with the Land Transport Authority (LTA), developed a cloud-based integrated smart fleet management system for bus operators. The new system’s features, such as route optimisation, job scheduling and digital payment served to cultivate safe driving habits and automate manual processes. The pilot has since gone live in mid-2020 and has benefitted 114 bus operators to date.
SCCCI is also stepping up to handhold key TACs to address their training needs to better support enterprises’ skills development
11. I am glad to note that SCCCI, with the support of ESG, SBF and SSG, aims to develop skill competencies that go beyond those of the Competency Framework. They will map out industry training plans to enable key TACs to better support our enterprises.
12. As business models evolve rapidly, I am greatly heartened that our TACs are moving up the ladder of expertise and skills to provide even better and greater support to their member enterprises.
13. To achieve this goal, TACs will work closely with a manager under the Skills Capability Development Programme, who will then assess their skills, needs and capabilities, and develop customised training plans and courses for the TACs.
14. The Government is fully committed to supporting and uplifting our TACs. Strong, well-equipped and innovative TACs will serve our local business community well and help steer effective transformation at the sectoral level.
15. I encourage all TACs to tap on the Growth Model and Competency Framework to strengthen their capabilities from within, and develop a new generation of talent who can lead their sectors to the next level of growth.
16. I would like to thank all our TACs for your continuous support and journeying along with our enterprises through the pandemic. I am confident that our collective strength and resolve will help businesses emerge from this crisis stronger, more dynamic and more resilient than before.
17. May our TACs and businesses achieve greater heights in the new year!
18. Thank you.