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Changi Airport Group commits SG$10m to upskill 2,000 employees

Changi Airport Group (CAG) will be committing SG$10 million over the next two years to upskill its 2,000 employees in adaptive, technological and technical skillsets. This moves comes as the company aims to prepare staff for new jobs and tasks to be created by CAG’s digital transformation. CAG will be forming a Company Training Committee (CTC) with the Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers’ Union (SMMWU).

Under the CTC initiative, up to 10 days of digital-focused training will be carried out over the two years, including a growth mindset programme to further strengthen employees’ readiness to embrace new technology. The staff members will also be offered courses and workshops to build competency in digital skills such as data, robotic process automation, programming, as well as User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) design. A customised SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace course will also be available for support staff. CAG will be working closely with SMMWU, learning providers and other industry stakeholders to identify essential skills and training needed to equip its people for the future of work. It also looks to continue focusing on developing digital learning experiences to enable training on the go.

Currently, CAG has been working with start-ups and innovation-driven companies to develop and demonstrate new technology solutions in a live airport environment in order to stay relevant to customer needs and preferences. Opened in August 2019, the DIVA (Digital Innovations Ventures Analytics) Hub is a collaboration space designed to foster ideation and experimentation across multi-disciplinary teams (also known as squads) with new roles such as product owners, UX/UI designers, and data scientists. The squads work on various digital projects to improve customer experience and drive operational efficiency.

In the past, CAG worked with vendors to attain readily available solutions. With the DIVA Hub, CAG said customised solutions can now be developed in-house over shorter periods of time through agile development iteration methods. According to CAG, this new way of working in squads helps break down silos and strengthen in-house competencies as the company grows its digital capabilities. CAG’s CEO Lee said with technology enabling new business models to disrupt the travel landscape, the customer journey is evolving with an expectation for seamless travel experiences. Hence, the company aims to exploit the opportunities presented by digital solutions to serve customers better.

“Looking ahead, with Terminal 5 coming onstream in about a decade, the scale of our operations will double, and technology will continue to transform airport operations and the way we work. Digital transformation demands that workers today are upskilled to accelerate change and to meet the challenges of tomorrow. With this investment in digital-focused training, we hope to establish a relevant, ready and resilient workforce,” he added.

Recently, CAG ended its 40-year liquor and tobacco partnership with DFS Group, with its duty-free stores to close in June 2020. It then awarded its core-category Liquor and Tobacco concession tender to Lotte Duty Free (Lotte) for six years beginning 9 June 2020, making it the first time a new operator would be taking the helm of this key concession since 2013. The tenancy contract covers all 18 liquor & tobacco stores across Changi’s four terminals. CAG said Lotte’s proposal stood out with its strong omni-channel and marketing ideas which will propel CAG’s travel retail strategy forward.

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