NTUC LearningHub, traditionally known for courses catering to rank-and-file employees, wants to train more white-collar staff.

From this month, it is rolling out "blended learning" courses with classroom and online-learning components targeted at professionals, managers and executives (PMEs).

Its chief executive officer Kwek Kok Kwong, speaking to The Straits Times, said this was a considered step, given that PMEs will account for a bigger proportion of the workforce in future.

"As part of the labour movement, we want to be inclusive and look after both sides of the workforce," he said.

But Mr Kwek, 46, who took over as CEO six months ago, acknowledged challenges in attracting these workers to attend courses, with issues such as bosses being unwilling to release staff for training due to manpower shortages.

"When we design courses, we are cognisant of this ground reality... We try to keep the courses compact, and contextualise them so that the trainees can readily apply what they learn on their job the next day."

Mr Kwek, a brigadier-general in the military before retiring last year, said the organisation will strive to reach out to more PMEs via roadshows, networking talks, and by working with small and medium-sized enterprises.

On worries that employees are prone to job-hopping, Mr Kwek urged businesses to take a long-term view. "Staff retention can be maximised through training... This contributes to a sense of fulfilment and confidence."

For its new courses, NTUC LearningHub has teamed up with partners such as Oracle and SAP. The courses will cover areas such as marketingfinance, and soft skills such as human resource.

"We work with reliable partners so that we can ensure quality assurance... And participants get to put into practice what they have learnt online, without having to take as much time off work as before."