As part of its ongoing efforts to advance continuous learning, ST Engineering signed a memorandum of understanding with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) last January 13 for the co-development of courses and programmes to build workforce competencies in human-centric design and innovation. The fully-sponsored courses and programmes will equip employees with design thinking skills that will help them approach problem-solving through a user’s lens, enabling new perspectives and creativity in developing effective solutions that better address customers’ needs.
The MOU is expected to benefit up to 1,000 ST Engineering employees.
Centred on design thinking courses and technical specialist training programmes that are tailored to ST Engineering’s operational and training needs, the key areas of cooperation under the MOU include:
- The co-development of new design methodologies for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) operations, which will form the basis of a new three-day MRO-centric design thinking course to help employees develop a more holistic approach to problem-solving. This has applications in areas such as Aerospace MRO where design thinking can help to reduce workflow and process complexities which are increasing as a result of automation. This course will be offered through the SUTD-MIT International Design Centre.
- The development of a tailored ‘Innovation by Design’ ModularMasters™ (MM) two-year part-time programme where senior technical and engineering employees will be able to subscribe to SUTD’s bite-sized, skills-based modules to meet their workplace learning needs. Employees who complete the MM programme and wish to further their training in design thinking can advance to SUTD’s Master of Innovation by Design (IbD) degree programme, where subject credits earned from the MM programme can be used to offset the credits required for the IbD programme. These programmes are designed to give employees more flexibility and opportunities in learning even as they take on full time work.
Prof Chong Tow Chong, SUTD President said, “We are happy to partner ST Engineering in their lifelong learning efforts. Over the past two years, SUTD Academy and the SUTD-MIT International Design Centre’s Design Innovation team have delivered Design Innovation training to close to 400 staff from engineering to senior leadership roles. It shows that ST Engineering shares our belief in the effectiveness of design thinking and innovation. With the continued strong support of our industry partners, SUTD is committed to imparting design skills that help workers stay relevant in today’s innovation-intensive economy.”
Vincent Chong, President & CEO, ST Engineering said, “As businesses retool to adapt to digitalisation and changing business climates, employees too will need to keep pace and continually acquire new skillsets to sharpen their professional edge. Design thinking will augment our work, enabling fresh perspectives and approaches to solving our customers’ challenges, ultimately strengthening our competitiveness.” He added, “As a global company, we remain committed to continuous learning and investing in our employees’ growth and professional development. Our collaboration with SUTD adds to the growing list of workforce development initiatives that we have in place to strengthen our employees’ competencies and prepare them for the future.”
This MOU builds on ST Engineering’s past collaborations with SUTD which has seen some 400 employees benefit from its design innovation programmes over the last two years. In 2018, ST Engineering embarked on a three-year collaboration with the National University of Singapore (NUS) on training programmes that are targeted at strengthening domain expertise in fast-evolving areas. To date, nearly 500 employees have attended basic and intermediate data analytics courses at NUS. Another training programme with Singapore Polytechnic, focused on building our engineers and technicians’ competencies in digital transformation and robotics, has also benefitted more than 500 employees since 2018. Among others, ST Engineering has also introduced e-learning programmes to promote employee self-development and a continuous learning culture.