The first customised retail training course for IT retail sales professionals has been launched in Singapore.
The program aims to deepen the skills of the IT retail workforce, improve overall customer experience and reinforce Singapore's standing as an IT retail hub.
Microsoft, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the Singapore Institute of Retail Studies (SIRS) today jointly launched the Microsoft Retail Sales Professional (MRSP) programme.
Forty IT retail sales professionals will form the MRSP pilot batch, with the overall goal to train 2,000 people over the next three years. Challenger, Newstead Technologies and Harvey Norman are among the key Singapore retailers who have committed to training staff through the MRSP programme.
The MRST has been developed using the WDA's Retail Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) system. A WDA survey released in February 2010indicated that more than 90 per cent of companies and trainees experienced better work performance after undergoing training through the WSQ system.
Microsoft believes that by tapping into this nationally-recognised framework to train IT retail professionals they will perform better at the shop front.
"It is an opportune time to introduce the MRSP programme as its part of our plans to deepen the skills and expertise of our workforce within each sector through skills upgrading," said Anil Das, Senior Director, Industry Skills & Planning Office, WDA.
"This partnership with industry leader Microsoft demonstrates the robustness of the Retail WSQ framework, as well as its flexibility to be customised to the needs of different specialisations within the industry."
This three year commitment will see Microsoft investing in training and course curriculum development to help improve IT retailers' skill sets. The training will be conducted by SIRS, with WDA providing funding support.
Microsoft Singapore's OEM Director, Joe Poon said the software giant was happy to be involved to ensure IT retailers received the right skills upgrade to become professional advisors.
"This is the first programme targeted at frontline staff, which ultimately benefits not only the overall IT ecosystem; but also consumers who need advice on purchasing IT products," Poon said.
The MRSP pilot will consist of a 42-hour integrated training course featuring three contextualized Retail Workforce Skills Qualifications modules namely, 'Sell Microsoft Products & Services', 'Provide Advice on Microsoft Products' and 'Interact with Microsoft Customers'.
Following completion of the pilot programme in April, Microsoft will develop and roll-out intermediate and advanced modules as part of a continuum of tailored skills training for IT retail sales professionals. Going beyond the classroom, the programme offers on-the-job coaching where the trainee will be observed in a real-life scenario dealing with a customer.
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