CAAS and NTUC Launch S$3 Million Singapore OneAviation Reskilling Grant to Support Training for Aviation Workers
- This programme will benefit about 3,000 workers in the air transport and ancillary sectors
- NTUC has also committed S$1.5 million of the NETF Collaborative Fund to further encourage unionised companies to send their workers for training
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Aerospace and Aviation (A&A) Cluster launched a S$3-million Singapore OneAviation Reskilling (SOAR) grant today to support competency and reskilling training for workers in the air transport and ancillary sectors. This initiative is expected to benefit about 3,000 workers.
2. The SOAR grant provides funding support for air transport-related training courses and programmes that are self-initiated by workers or collectively through their unions via the joint union-management Company Training Committees (CTCs). The training will uplift competencies of lower-skilled air transport workers, extend the productive careers of older workers, and support career progression and retention of sector talents. Workers in ancillary sectors who perform essential functions and provide pivotal support to the air transport sector, such as cleaners, trolley service officers, landscape officers, taxi coordinators, and freight forwarders, will also benefit from this grant.
3. To ensure relevance of supported training to industry, NTUC will collaborate with established aviation companies with in-house training capabilities – such as Singapore Airlines, SATS, SIA Engineering Company – as well as relevant industry associations to enrol as training providers to offer courses and programmes that are beneficial to workers.
4. Under the SOAR grant, which will be administered by NTUC, companies may be reimbursed up to S$100 per day of training per participant upon completion of each course or programme. To further support the air transport sector, NTUC has also committed S$1.5 million of the NETF Collaborative Fund (NCF) to boost the training capacity of unionised companies. Companies can tap on additional funding of up to S$50 per worker per day (capped at five days). The NTUC A&A Cluster and NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) will mobilise both unionised and non-unionised companies so that their workers can tap on the expanded training support to upskill and reskill, in preparation for sector transformation when recovery takes off.
5. Director-General of CAAS Kevin Shum said, “The aviation sector has been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The SOAR grant will support on-going efforts in preserving core capabilities within the sector. This ensures that the Singapore’s aviation hub retains a strong pool of talent and expertise to support smooth operations at Changi Airport.”
6. NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Cham Hui Fong said, “Even before the pandemic, our unions have been working closely with our air transport companies via the Company Training Committees (CTC) to help workers transform for the future. Under SOAR, our union leaders will proactively solicit ground feedback from workers themselves on training gaps and needs, before surfacing them to management at CTC discussions. We believe this is important as it allows workers to take ownership of their own training and development needs. We hope that the additional funding provided by the NETF Collaborative Fund will provide further meaningful support to the air transport industry during this difficult time.”
7. The SOAR grant is open to all Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents who work in the air transport sector, including companies supporting air transport operations. Interested applicants can approach their union or company’s human resource representatives for more information.
 The NTUC Aerospace and Aviation Cluster comprises the following nine unions: Air Transport Executive Staff Union (AESU), Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE), dnata Singapore Staff Union (DSSU), Scoot Staff Union (STSU), Singapore Airport Terminal Services Workers’ Union (SATSWU), SIA Engineering Company Engineers and Executives Union (SEEU), Singapore Airlines Staff Union (SIASU), Singapore Industrial & Services Employees’ Union (SISEU) and The Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers’ Union (SMMWU).
 The SOAR grant will be drawn from the Aviation Resilience Package, announced in December 2020, to help aviation companies preserve core capabilities and tide over the crisis.
 CTCs – which comprise each company’s management, leaders of relevant union(s) and NTUC A&A leaders and representatives – are a Labour Movement initiative announced in February 2019 to help both workers and companies transform for the future. As joint committees, CTCs would discuss, among other matters of all parties’ interests, future development plans that impact workers. and their work. This includes identifying possible skills gaps and training needs that could appear as a result.
 The NETF Collaborative Fund (NCF) is a funding scheme offered by the NTUC Education and Training Fund (NETF) to provide training support for unionised companies to send their employees who are NTUC union members for training. NCF was rolled out in March 2019.
About the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
The mission of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is to grow a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system, making a key contribution to Singapore's success. CAAS' roles are to oversee and promote safety in the aviation industry, develop the air hub and aviation industry, provide air navigation services, provide aviation training for human resource development, and contribute to the development of international civil aviation.
About the National Trade Union Congress
The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is a national confederation of trade unions as well as a network of professional associations and partners across all sectors in Singapore. NTUC's objectives are to help Singapore stay competitive and working people remain employable for life; to enhance the social status and well-being of our members and working people; and to build a strong, responsible and caring labour movement. NTUC's vision is to be an inclusive labour movement for all collars, ages and nationalities. NTUC is at the heart of the Labour Movement, which comprises 58 affiliated unions, five affiliated associations, 12 social enterprises, six related organisations as well as a growing ecosystem of U Associates and enterprise partners. For more details on NTUC, please visit our website at www.ntuc.org.sg.