JUMBO Group of Restaurants (“JUMBO Group”) is the first company to attain the Workplace Learning Ready (WPL:READY) Mark and fast-track the skills certification of its employees under the Workplace Skills Recognition (WPSR) programme, led by Nanyang Polytechnic’s (NYP) National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning (NACE) and supported by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG). This streamlined approach saved JUMBO Group more than 2,200 man-hours and a four-fold reduction in training costs that would have otherwise been spent on external training initiatives. The time saved is now better utilised to support outlet operations.

As part of the WPSR programme, JUMBO Group worked with NACE led by NYP, which reviewed and validated JUMBO Group's workplace learning practices for the WPL:READY Mark.

With the attainment of the WPL:READY Mark, JUMBO Group was able to fast track the Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) certification in Maintain Safe and Secure Work Environment offered by NYP’s Asian Culinary Institute (ACI), for over 200 employees, via the Assessment-only Pathway (AOP)[1] route. They were directly assessed and certified by ACI at their workplace, eliminating the need to attend external training. Besides the reduction in training expenses and the increase in productivity, the WPSR programme has also helped JUMBO Group address manpower issues, particularly in light of the tight staffing challenges in the F&B industry. JUMBO Group has observed the significant impacts WPSR has brought to the company as well as the employees and they have since identified more areas for in-house training to be assessed through AOP. They plan to continue leveraging the WPSR to help its employees get the needed certifications more expeditiously, in areas such as customer service and culinary skills.   

Mr Ang Kiam Meng, Group Chief Executive Officer of JUMBO Group of Restaurants, expresses the Group's efforts in human capital development and lifelong learning vision. He said, “Our commitment to investing in our employees through the WPSR programme has resulted in tangible benefits for both our employees and our company. By streamlining training and recognising the skills our people already have, we have significantly reduced training costs and boosted productivity. This approach not only helps us retain our employees, but also keeps our operations running smoothly and minimises operational disruptions.”

Mr Russell Chan, Principal and Chief Executive Officer of NYP, said, “A sustained workplace learning culture enables organisations to holistically develop their workforce – through more effective knowledge transfer to new hires, deepening skills within existing employees, and talent retention for business growth. We are glad to support forward thinking companies like JUMBO Group on their WPSR journey, to collectively grow their workforce competencies to augment organisational growth.”

Launched in June 2023, the WPSR programme aims to address the challenges employers face when sending workers for external training, such as operational disruptions due to workers being away for a significant amount of time - which is consistently cited by employers as one of the top barriers impacting their workforce upskilling efforts.  These challenges are experienced more acutely by SMEs due to their limited manpower. Under the WPSR, companies will be supported in building a foundation in workplace learning, enabling the skills of their workers to be recognised and certified at the workplace by SSG-appointed training providers without having to attend external classroom training. Employers can in turn benefit from significant time and monetary savings, while also being able to harness the skills developed at the workplace.

The WPSR was first piloted in the Food Services and Retail sectors and saw encouraging take-up. To-date, about 100 companies have registered their interest and 15 companies, including JUMBO Group, have successfully attained the WPL: READY Mark and are at varying stages of embarking on fast-tracked certifications for their employees via the AOP route. From 1 March 2024, the WPSR has been expanded to companies across all sectors.

Mr Tan Kok Yam, Chief Executive of SSG, said, “Employers have often given feedback on the time and cost involved in sending workers for external training. While some external training will be unavoidable, the WPSR aims to maximise what companies can provide to their workers in the form of on-the-job training. This involves building companies’ capability for workplace learning, twinned with a mechanism to validate skills acquired from such training. The success enjoyed by the JUMBO Group attests to the strong value that can be unlocked through this WPSR approach. We encourage more companies to similarly take advantage of the WPSR and reap its benefits.”

[1] The AOP route is a mode of certification recognising an individual's prior learning and experience. The assessment is done directly at the workplace or in a simulated environment.

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23 Mar 2023