ABOUT 1,000 people, including retail staff from the shops at 313@Somerset, will become the first to receive service training at a centre set up by the mall's landlord.
The free training will take place at the $1 million centre in the mall itself - a facility jointly funded by Australia-based landlord Lend Lease Retail and enterprise agency Spring Singapore.
The first batch of 40 trainees will begin class on Monday at the centre's temporary home in Lend Lease Retail's office in Faber House. The trainees are employees of the mall's tenants, those working for the mall and a few members of the public.
More than 120 tenants have pledged to send their staff for training.
They will be taught about maintaining a professional image, business etiquette and how to interact with customers.
Lend Lease estimates the centre will save the industry $3 million per year, based on the assumption that an employer spends an average of $3,000 per employee in training costs and loss of the employee during training, excluding government subsidies.
The training centre, launched yesterday by Australian Trade Minister Simon Crean, will also offer free lessons in retail to interested parties. Registration for these courses is to be done online at www.313somerset-training.com.sg
Retail jobs are also listed there.
Ms May Sng, who heads the Orchard Road Business Association, hailed the centre as a 'magnanimous' gesture.
'One of my wishes is that Orchard Road service will increase to the level of Hong Kong and Tokyo. We are far from reaching that. So to have this facility sited on Orchard Road goes beyond expectations,' she said.
313@Somerset has filled up over 90 per cent of its space. Lend Lease's development director Mike Kenderes is confident that all its shop spaces would be taken up by its opening date in November.
Source: Straits Times, 28 July 2009