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Two Homegrown Training Providers Ink Their First-of-its-Kind Partnership to Train Early School Leavers to Look After Singapore's Healthcare Needs and Fast Ageing Population

SINGAPORE, 3 OCTOBER 2010 – The HMI Institute of Health Sciences (HMI Institute) and SSA Consulting Group (SSA) today signed the first-of-its kind partnership agreement in Singapore that will open the doors to early school leavers and those without formal education qualifications.

The two homegrown training providers say they want to give these people a second chance in life: to study again in a classroom, rebuild self -confidence, increase their self worth and to become financially independent with the prospects of a higher paying and more fulfilling job in the healthcare industry, looking after Singaporeans' healthcare needs and fast ageing population.

The two homegrown training providers say they want to give these people a second chance in life: to study again in a classroom, rebuild self -confidence, increase their self worth and to become financially independent with the prospects of a higher paying and more fulfilling job in the healthcare industry, looking after Singaporeans' healthcare needs and fast ageing population.

With a rapidly ageing population, more healthcare workers will be needed. HMI Institute, the educational arm of Health Management International Ltd, and SSA say that their joint training programmes will contribute towards easing the shortage in skilled healthcare workers. The Health Ministry is setting aside $400 million to boost Singapore's healthcare workforce to ensure adequate staffing and staff training.

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, MP for Marine Parade GRC (Kaki Bukit) and Adviser to Marine Parade GRC GROs, was the guest of honour at the signing of the HMI Institute and SSA's Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and opening of their "HealthCARE @ Kaki Bukit" carnival for the public at Kaki Bukit Community Centre (CC). "Health" stands for Health Community Awareness outReach Event and is expected to be a quarterly event for the community. The "HealthCARE @ Kaki Bukit" carnival was supported by the Kaki Bukit CC Committee, PA MESRA, Asian Women's Welfare Association Family Service Centre and AlAnsar Mosque. More than 400 people attended it.

Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal said, "The Health Ministry is rolling out 60% more community hospital beds over the next 10 years. I hope that the initiative today will help to meet the expected increase in healthcare manpower needs of our fast ageing population."

Under the joint collaboration, the trainees will receive holistic training in WSQ workplace literacy and numeracy from SSA and healthcare skills from HMI Institute. The HMI Institute 2009 student recruitment data shows that 63% of the student cohort are above 30 years old while 86% have been educated up to secondary 2 level or below.

For those without any secondary education qualifications, SSA will provide a foundation course which after their completion, they will go on to the HMI Institute for Healthcare Vocational Training programmes. This integrated training approach will prepare the trainees to take on working roles in in hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare institutions. They can qualify as Healthcare Assistant, Operating Theatre Assistant, Community Health Care Assistant, Clinic Assistant, Healthcare Attendant, or Therapy Assistant.

HMI Institute will also work with the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) and other community organizations to extend their training programmes to more people in the community. Mr Suhaimi Salleh, CEO of SSA said: "Our Employability Skills WSQ training programmes focus on generic portable employability skills, and will complement the training programmes offered by HMI Institute. SSA will be able to bridge the learning gaps for lower or zero-skilled workers to step into the healthcare industry with confidence."

Ms Chin Wei Jia, Group General Manager of HMI Institute added, "HMI Institute is pleased to be able to help those without formal qualifications to get a second chance in life by attaining a meaningful career for themselves, and this will include those who want to make a late career switch to the healthcare industry."

ABOUT HMI INSTITUTE OF HEALTH SCIENCES
The HMI Institute of Health Sciences is a leading private healthcare education provider offering nursing education and healthcare training services. Established in 2002, HMI Institute is a Continuing Education and Training ("CET") Centre appointed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency ("WDA"). To date, HMI Institute has trained over 2,500 graduates for the Singapore healthcare sector. For more information, visit: http://www.hmi-ihs.com

ABOUT HEALTH MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL
Health Management International Ltd ("HMI") is a regional healthcare and education service provider listed on the Mainboard of the Singapore Exchange. HMI has presence in 5 countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and the People's Republic of China.
The HMI Group has two core divisions, Healthcare and Education. Its Healthcare Division comprises 2 hospitals in Malaysia; Regency Specialist Hospital in Johor and Mahkota Medical Centre in Malacca; and a network of 20 Representative Offices located in Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia. The Group's education arm, HMI Institute of Health Sciences, is the first dedicated private provider of nationally accredited nursing education and healthcare training in Singapore. For more information, please visit the HMI Corporate website at www.hmi.com.sg

ABOUT SSA CONSULTING GROUP
SSA Consulting Group is founded in 1986 and provides a full spectrum of business services (consulting, training and public accounting services) to clients. It has been involved with WDA's training programme since it first launched its ES WSQ Programmes back in 2004. SSA Consulting Group was appointed as a CET Centre for ES WSQ Programmes in 2008. To-date, they have delivered ES WSQ courses for more than 30,000 trainees. They currently have 5 training centres and more than 46 training rooms in various parts of Singapore.
For more information about SSA Consulting Group, please visit: http://www.ssagroup.com

For more information, please contact:
GolinHarris
Soh Li Sar
Tel: 6551 5442 / 8322 7283
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