Singapore polytechnics rally partners to expand, upskill healthcare ranks

The Healthcare Academy — a collaboration by NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB), Healthcare Services Employees’ Union and NTUC’s Employability and Employment Institute — is working with Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Republic Polytechnic to leverage their respective in order enhance the quality of training and expand the nation’s healthcare and community care competencies. 

These competencies will directly address skills gaps and talent needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the evolving health needs of Singaporeans as the healthcare industry continues its long-term shift towards preventive and community care. This will be done through well-rounded, collaborative training programmes offered as part of the Government’s SGUnited Skills (SGUS) Programme.

The collaboration is also driven by a desire to upskill healthcare employees and expand their competencies, as more pressure is placed on the sector for care delivery and medical support. This initiative also supports the nation’s plan to build a pipeline of talent, who may not have prior healthcare industry experience, to join the sector.

Participants will be able to select from three tracks including Basic Care Assistant and Healthcare Assistant offered by Healthcare Academy and Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Health Sciences and School of Humanities & Social Sciences, and Community Care Workforce — which includes care coordinators, health coaches and case managers — by Healthcare Academy and Republic Polytechnic’s School of Sports, Health and Leisure.

In each of the three tracks, the modules and real-world practicum are curated to form a six-month-long programme. The fundamental skills acquired will enable participants to take on new roles in the healthcare sector, even if they have had no prior experience.

Clarence Ti, principal of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said the launch of the SGUS Programme targeted at mid-career professionals will allow them to acquire expertise in key areas such as infection control, wellness and counselling, to help build a strong talent pool and a sustainable healthcare system.

“This collaboration with like-minded partners such as Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Republic Polytechnic will help bolster existing efforts by Healthcare Academy to groom more healthcare employees and help sustain Singapore’s world-class healthcare system,” said Kwek Kok Kwong, deputy chairman of Healthcare Academy and CEO of NTUC LHUB.