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New Training Programmes to Raise Manpower Capability in Healthcare Support and Community and Social Services Sectors

Singapore, 16 January 2009 – Four new training programmes are being rolled out to professionalise the healthcare personnel in the healthcare and community and social services sectors in Singapore. This was announced today by the Acting Minister for Manpower, Mr Gan Kim Yong at the official launch of Health Management International Limited (HMI) as the CET centre for healthcare and community and social services sectors.

Appointed by the Singapore Development Workforce Agency (WDA), HMI is the first Continuing Education and Training (CET) Centre for the Therapy Services and Healthcare Support sectors. As a CET Centre, HMI will be conducting the programmes under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications System, targeted to help mid career switchers and job seekers to enter the healthcare and community and social services sectors. The four new programmes are:

  • Higher Certificate in Therapy Services for Therapy Assistant
  • Higher Certificate in Healthcare Support (Nursing Care) for Patient Care Assistant
  • Higher Certificate in Healthcare Support(Administrative Support) for Patient Service Assistant
  • Higher Certificate in Healthcare Support (Operating Theatre Support) for Operating Theatre Assistant

Over the next three years, HMI will train more than 900 Therapy Assistants and another 1120 Patient Care Assistants, Patient Service Assistants and Operating Theatre Assistants. A total of more than 2000 workers are expected to be trained comprising either new entrants or current employees upgrading their skills.

Commenting on HMI's appointment as the CET Centre for the therapy services and healthcare support sector, Mr Chan Heng Kee, Chief Executive, Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), said: "Not all sectors are affected by the economic downturn. The community and social services and healthcare support sectors are thriving and offer valuable job opportunities for Singaporeans. However these sectors require specific skills and training. New entrants and in-service personnel now have an avenue to pick up industry endorsed skills with HMI's appointment as a CET Centre. This will not only raise the capabilities of the sectors but also prepare Singaporeans to seize the opportunities in these sectors."

"The economic downturn has witnessed a wave of company downsizing, with many large Singapore companies also looking to optimize their manpower structure. In the process, staff redundancy will result. Some of these workers may be mature workers but have a desire to seek new opportunities in other sectors, such as community and social services and healthcare services sectors. HMI is working closely with at least one such local company to help train their retrenched workers to re-skill for the two sectors. This is potentially a scalable model which we hope to replicate, as more companies are expected to rationalize their manpower as the economic downturn continues." said Dr Gan See Khem, Executive Chairman of HMI at the launch.

To enhance the programmes' relevance to industry, HMI is exchanging Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with twelve local employers to provide trainees clinical attachments during the training. HMI is also collaborating with these employers to offer placements to trainees.

One such organisation is St Andrew's Community Hospital. Ms Yuen-Chiew Yew Mee, Director, Administration & Operations, St Andrew's Community Hospital said, "The joint tripartite partnership of WDA, the training institution and the healthcare institutions have created an invaluable avenue for people considering a mid-career switch to the healthcare industry to confidently make the bold step, knowing that they will be supported throughout the training and assured of subsequent gainful employment. The scheme has attracted people with the potential to contribute to a caring profession. With their wealth of diverse experiences and maturity and a comprehensive training programme, the Healthcare Assistants are able to handle a variety of situations pertaining to the medical and nursing issues of their patients."


About the Singapore Workforce Development Agency
The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) enhances the competitiveness of our workforce by encouraging workers to learn for life and advance with skills. In today's economy, most jobs require not just knowledge, but also skills. WDA collaborates with employers, industry associations, the Union and training organisations, to develop and strengthen the Continuing Education and Training system that is skill-based, open and accessible, as a mainstream pathway for all workers - young and older, from rank and file to professionals and executives -to upgrade and advance in their careers and lives. For more info, please visit www.wda.gov.sg

About Health Management Limited (Bloomberg Code: HMI.SP)
Health Management International Ltd ("HMI") is a regional healthcare and education services provider with presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the People's Republic of China. The Group has two core businesses, Healthcare and Education. Its healthcare division comprises 2 hospitals in Malaysia , the Mahkota Medical Centre in Malacca and the Regency Specialist Hospital in Johor, and a network of 9 patient referral centres in Indonesia. The Group's education arm, HMI Institute of Health Sciences, is the first dedicated private provider of nursing education and healthcare training in Singapore. For more info, please visit www.hmi.com.sg

For more information or media queries, please contact:
Ms Tan Sook Lih
Senior Manager
Corporate & Marketing Communications Division
Singapore Workforce Development Agency
Tel: (65) 6512 7317
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms Chin Wei Jia
Group Senior Business Development Manager
Health Management International Ltd
Tel : (65) 6253 3818
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.