Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Centre to help mall set service benchmark

313@Somerset to provide free training to employees of its retailers at new centre to raise service levels

SERVICE levels in Singapore are set to reach new heights as Lend Lease launched its $1 million 313@Somerset Training and Career Centre yesterday. The training centre was officially opened by Simon Crean, the Australian Minister for Trade, and will provide free service training to all employees of its retailers, its own mall staff and even members of the public who wish to pursue a career in the retail industry.

'The is an excellent example of commercial collaboration between Australia and Singapore. The substantial investment by Lend Lease in the 313@Somerset Retail Mall and the new Training Centre reaffirmed the importance of Singapore as Australia's largest trade and investment partner in Asean,' said Mr Crean.

This is the first time a mall in Singapore has received the Singapore Workforce Development Agency's Accredited Training Organisation (ATO) status, allowing it to conduct training.

The centre is also a first for Lend Lease globally and is expected to redefine standards for its malls around the world. The courses offered are funded by Lend Lease and Spring Singapore.
Since the announcement of the new training centre last year, response has been 'extremely enthusiastic, with more than 120 of the mall's retailers intending to put their employees through the courses,' said Lend Lease development director Michael Kenderes.

A total of 1,000 are expected to be trained in the centre's first year. Three hundred of them are expected to be matched to the employment needs of 313@Somerset retailers.

For a start, the centre will offer courses to help retail staff gain a clear understanding of the retail environment, the importance of retail service excellence, business etiquette and how to interact with customers.

The first two classes which commence on Aug 3 are already full.

It will also offer other courses that are not accredited and this will focus on retail tourism, centre brand induction and the 313 service factor.

These opportunities for training have been extended to retailers and staff in other Lend Lease malls, including Parkway Parade and PoMo. The centre will also help with job matching for those seeking employment within the centre.

The Training and Career Centre is expected to 'save the retail industry some $3million in training and hiring costs, and downtime when a staff member goes for training', said Mr Kenderes.

Source: Business Times, 28 July 2009

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