06 June 2006

Killer Whales, Here I Come

The Sentosa Leisure Group is joining the Tourism Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) scheme, in order to train its employees to raise their service standards. It's part of an $8-billion revamp to woo eight million visitors by 2010.

Today the Straits Times has an article about this. Well, we already know that it's not unusual for our nation-building press to screw up its reporting. What's unusual is to screw up so directly, in the very first paragraphs of a newspaper article. I had a good laugh.
June 6, 2006
Sentosa staff to be trained under new tourism skills scheme
Certification system aims to boost professionalism in local service industry

By Marcel Lee Pereira

DOLPHIN trainer Ravan Tan, 25, performs with the mammals at Sentosa's Dolphin Lagoon every day and dreams of working in one of Hawaii's marine theme parks, handling killer whales and sea lions. His dream may just come true.

All he needs to do is prove that he can handle the creatures well for his skills to be recognised under Singapore's first formal qualification system for tourism-sector workers.
Somehow I don't think that the Sentosa Leisure Group will be very happy to hear that one of their employees is upgrading his skills so that he can quit, emigrate and go work for one of Hawaii's marine theme parks.

Anyway, here's the rest of the article:
He is one of the 3,000 staff on Sentosa being trained under the Tourism Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) scheme developed by the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the industry.

Mr Tan, an O-levels holder, has already done two modules - on feeding and handling the animals. He has set his sights on a diploma.

The WSQ scheme, a nationally recognised framework, will uplift the professionalism of the industry and spur workers to attain professional qualifications and so raise their productivity, said Manpower Minister Ng Eng Hen at its launch yesterday.

He added: 'Even if they have somehow missed out on formal education, or need to change industry because of economic restructuring, the pathways to acquire new skills and find new jobs will be there.'

Sentosa has counted itself in on the scheme, which will help raise service standards as part of its $8-billion revamp to woo eight million visitors by 2010.

Sentosa Leisure Group chief executive Darrell Metzger said: 'We need a system that helps guarantee some consistency in our standards.'

"Look, Ted, I'm serious. No more dolphin tricks
for you, until you get yourself WSQ-certified,
you understand?"


Anonymous said...

A new goal to become a world-class paper chase society? LOL.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, you got certification for baking good karma or not?

I call this retribution. It is comforting to know that now, the unwilling stayers (usually unskilled and lowly educated) will be funded by the Gahmen's retraining initiatives to seek better lives elsewhere.

By far, this is the fairest thing that has happened in Singapore.

PanzerGrenadier said...

The question about training (and retraining) etc. is do the enhanced certifiable skills get commensurate recognition in terms of pay increments/bonuses or promotion prospects?

The key is recognition by current employers to value-add skills to their staff but at the same time help the staff upgrade himself to be employable.

I am not sure how portable such skills are unless they are part of international organisations/union type of recognition? E.g. a CPA in Singapore is generally NOT recognised outside of Singapore unless the Institute of Certified Public Accountants went to fight for recognition beyond Singapore, but an Australian CPA tends to recognised outside of Aussie (at least within Asia).

Anonymous said...

all these spendings of millions are just ways to show they are doing something?? how many of their previous trainings, accrediton programs really bring benefits to singapore??

not measureable, hence not accountable.

Anonymous said...

I hope these certification are acknowledged and recognised by overseas insitutions and employers. Maybe the poor chap got rejected by Hawaii because its not fancied by them.

Just look at our A & O levels. We are the only so called "developed countries" that are still using Cambridge examinations. Correct me if I am wrong but only African countries used the same system as us.

Wei Peng

Anonymous said...

Before you know it, Singapore will overtake Philippines in the number of its own citizens going overseas to get a decent paying job, and remit their hard earned savings home to support the families left here. Far fetched? Read today's papers about accountants sent to China for "overseas assignments". To add salt to wound, upon retirement, the overseas Singapore workers will be sent to Johore, Bintan or Batam to live out the evening years, no thanks to Khaw Boon Wan's "brilliant suggestion".

Anonymous said...

We need the world class DOLPHIN.org to be the certification body lah.

Robin CHAN said...

hmmm.. come to think of it, you are very right..

I read this news and will read again to catch the message in between.