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Singapore Airlines learning journeys: reskilling and upskilling for external firms

With the global pandemic grounding the airline and travel industry, Singapore Airlines is now inviting businesses to embark on a learning journey.

The Singapore Airlines Academy is joining the national reskilling and upskilling movement.

The national carrier says that its new Service Excellence Program offers one and two-day courses on topics such as Service Mindfulness and Awareness, Handling Challenging Customers, and Service Leadership.

An opportunity to learn in-demand soft skills from one of the world’s top airlines. Just in time for the coming Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Innovation and digital transformation training packages are also available for learners working with change initiatives, products, and services.

Tailored training

Singapore Airlines says that customizable training programs will be available as virtual or in-person learning. Targeted learning groups include frontline and support staff, team leads, and executives.

“SIA receives many requests from organizations wanting to know how we have attained our reputation for industry-leading service and operational excellence, and to better understand how we achieved our successful digital transformation,” said Vanessa Ng, senior vice president for human resources.

“Our focus on people development and investment in training has been key to achieving these world-class standards. We are happy to share our competencies by offering specialised training programs to external organizations. This would also allow us to contribute to Singapore’s national goal of reskilling and upskilling the country’s workforce.”

Singapore Airlines flight crew, Sept. 2020

Learning outcomes

Each program will be led by certified instructors and facilitators with “proven instructional methods and valuable insight” to meet business requirements.

For the course on Handling Challenging Customers, learning outcomes include:

  • How to display warmth and empathy in interactions
  • Respond tactfully and politely in difficult situations
  • Apply conflict de-escalation techniques
  • Build customer loyalty with effective service recovery actions

Singapore Airlines says the programs are easily adaptable to nearly any organization, regardless of sector.

“For over 70 years, Singapore Airlines has been renowned for creating memorable experiences through our award-winning hospitality and service,” according to the Singapore Airlines Academy website.

“Drawing upon our leading expertise in service, operations, innovation, and digital, we empower your employees with the knowledge and skills to unlock their full potential in their roles.”

Certified in-house instructors and facilitators, who possess extensive frontline and training experience, will deliver practical yet inspiring learning, according to the national carrier.

“Their passion for excellence and first-hand experience makes all learning journeys with us meaningful,” said the airline.

Singapore Airlines plane restaurant. Video: South China Morning Post

Serving the country

Singapore Airlines began offering external courses in September, collaborating with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on a tailored three-day training program for Patient Care Officers (PCO). 

Armed with skills to support doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff, the PCO provides caregiving and end-to-end care coordination for patients in the ward. 

Early on in the pandemic, Singapore Airlines redeployed cabin crew to hospitals and nursing homes to help fill a manpower gap as hospital nurses were needed to care for patients infected with COVID-19.

Like others in the airline industry under the crippling strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore Airlines made pivotal changes to its business. 

Reporting a 98.1 percent year-on-year decline in passenger travel in September, even as Singapore opened its borders to more places. In September, Singapore Airlines said it would cut around 4,300 positions.

In the same month, it unveiled a limited plane dining service, home food delivery, and public tours of its training facilities.

Creating opportunities and thinking out of the box has been embraced by regional airlines as they weather economic uncertainty. Thai Airways has also embarked on visible and innovative efforts such as cashing in on its popular fried dough business.

“The repurposing of the state requires boldness of imagination and the marshaling of public support around nations’ long-term goals,” according to Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies in an opinion piece published in The Straits Times.

“A core focus of public-private collaboration — developing quality training options that workers find appealing and relevant to their careers, and using technologies and community outreach programs that make learning convenient when they are not on the job. It also requires increased agility in the system, to enable firms and workers to develop new skills quickly as the economy restructures.”

LEARNTech Asia
LEARNTech Asia showcases innovation in learning in Asia. We feature stories and resources in online learning, workplace learning, adult education, EdTech, and creative solutions by teachers and trainers in learning institutions, non-profits, and enterprises that enhance human capacity and inspire communities of lifelong learners.