Tech skills are critical to helping staff take up new jobs created as a result of digital transformation. Source: Shutterstock

Tech skills are critical to helping staff take up new jobs created as a result of digital transformation. Source: Shutterstock

Changi Airport to spend $7.33m to upskill 2,000 employees in tech skills

SKYTRAX and other travel bodies and agencies often regard Singapore’s Changi as the world’s best airport.

Besides being spacious and offering various entertainment, shopping, and relaxation opportunities to travelers, Changi Airport leverages various technology solutions to guarantee convenience and safety.

From 3D luggage and body scanners to facial recognition, Changi Airport is open to trialing any new and emerging technology that can make its facilities a little bit better in any way.

Needless to say, Changi Airport is serious about digital transformation and climbing the digital maturity curve.

Recently, the leaders at the airport unveiled a new DIVA (Digital Innovations Ventures Analytics) Hub within its facilities.

The hub is intended to serve as a collaboration space 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.

Thus far, the digital solutions deployed by Changi Airport were procured from vendors. By setting up the hub, Changi Airport now has the opportunity to develop customized solutions, in-house, using agile development iteration methods — effectively taking control over its pace of innovation.

The multi-disciplinary squads, made up of people from Changi Airport and its partners with the relevant tech skills, make embracing new and exciting digital solutions easier by breaking down silos and strengthen in-house competencies.

“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,” said Changi Airport CEO Lee Seow Hiang.

“Digital transformation demands that workers today are upskilled to accelerate change and to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”

As a result, Changi Airport has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers’ Union (SMMWU) to form a Company Training Committee.

Further, the airport has committed to investing SGD10 million (US$7.33 million) over the next two years, to upskill its 2,000 employees in adaptive, technological and technical skillsets (tech skills).

“With this investment in digital-focused training, we hope to establish a relevant, ready and resilient workforce,” said Changi Airport’s CEO.

In line with Changi Airport’s digital objectives, as a result of the MoU, its employees will have the opportunity to attend up to ten days of digital-focused training over the next two years, including a growth mindset program intended to strengthen their readiness to embrace new technologies.

Employees will 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.

The investment in tech skills, as well as the development of the new hub, make it clear that Changi Airport is doing everything in its power to stay ahead of the competition — and hold on to the title of ‘Best Airport in the World’ for many more years to come.