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Aspiring to be the best in its class

APRO Training Centre says that it is committed to the development of Singapore's security workforce by offering a range of security WSQ programmes from Certificate to Diploma level.

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Mr Li (right) receiving the trophy from Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, who was guest of honour at the 31st Annual Singapore 1000 and SME 1000 awards dinner recently at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore.

WINNER of the Singapore SME 1000 - Net Profit Growth Excellence Award for Services, APRO Training Centre Pte Ltd endeavours to be the best in its class as a security training organisation.

The company says that it is committed to the development of Singapore's security workforce by offering security WSQ (Workforce Skills Qualifications) programmes from Certificate to Diploma level.

It believes that well-trained security personnel will be more effective, motivated and confident when carrying out their duties in protecting Singapore's national security interests.

VALIDATING EFFORTS

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The awards and the annual S1000 rankings done by DP Info "is a good way to recognise and commemorate the success of Singapore based organisations," says Li Xiaowen, deputy managing director, APRO Training Centre.

"That it has segregated the awards by enterprises and SMEs is a great way to include the SME community, which constitutes a large share of Singapore's economy. While the award itself is not the reason for companies' efforts in achieving commercial success, it is a good check for entrepreneurs and executives to understand and to externally validate their efforts," he adds.

Being the winner of the award in the Net Profit Growth Excellence for Services in the SME category is important for the company as it validates the extraordinary efforts of the staff during an aggressive growth phase, where all employees contributed to the commercial success of the company, one way or another, he says.

Going forward, "it may be difficult to achieve the same rate of net profit growth (about 4,000 per cent) for the business as we had done in the period of assessment".

"However, a continuation of an expansion in our operating capacity, coupled with sustained investments in marketing has been a proven model for our business over the last two to three years," says Mr Li.

"While the current focus is to continue our efforts in establishing our brand in the space of regulated training providers, plans are afoot to diversify the product mix, and we have undertaken significant investments to develop a superior product offering.

"The adult education industry is a key area of focus for the Singapore economy, and we are well placed to leverage this focus as a platform for our growth into other innovative models of training. Internationalisation has been identified as the third phase of our growth strategy, after earlier objectives of brand establishment and viability of new lines of business have taken hold," Mr Li notes.

He says that while the company has sustained top line performance from the previous year, net profit has fallen due to various investments undertaken to facilitate its long-term growth ambitions.

The coming year will ideally mark the transition where the company begins to realise the fruits of the investments made.

Significantly, the APRO Training Centre originated in 1990 from an internal training department of APRO, which has been providing customised security solutions since 1985, and was developed to differentiate it from its parent security guarding company.

The training centre evolved to be a Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) - now known as Workforce Singapore - accredited training organisation under the WSQ framework for security in 2006.

FUTURE

WSQ, or the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications, is a national credential system that trains, develops, assesses and recognises adult workers for competencies they need to stay employable.

Based on standards developed by the WDA and various industries, WSQ ensures that workers acquire skills needed by employers at the workplace.

Today, the APRO Training Centre is a leading training provider for the security industry, training over 5,000 students every year.

"For its future, APRO Training Centre has innovated and developed new electronic models of training which are consistent with the latest thinking in adult learning pedagogy, and will be rolling this out to local and global customers," adds Mr Li.