S$5m to boost productivity in waste management industry [News]
By Saifulbahri Ismail, Channel NewsAsia, 12 Aug 2011.
The waste management industry will get a S$5 million boost to raise productivity.
The investments will be used to improve work processes for tasks like trash collection.
For example, a bin equipped with Radio-Frequency (RFID) technology is able to record data such as the household it is from and the weight of recyclables when the bin is hooked to a truck.
Veolia Environmental Services said this has helped improve productivity by 15 per cent.
Some 6,000 workers in the industry are also expected to benefit from a new workforce skills qualification (WSQ) programme.
The programme includes modules on the proper operation of waste recycling and collection equipment. This comes at a critical time as Singapore aims to have a recycling rate of 60 per cent by 2012.
Workers who will receive this training include waste collection truck drivers, plant technicians and managers.
NTUC’s secretary-general Lim Swee Say witnessed the launch of the programme at Veolia ES Singapore on Friday morning.
Mr Lim said the drive to raise productivity must continue despite the dark clouds on the horizon of the global economy and urged Singaporeans to work in unity and minimise disruption to the economy.
16 workers who were the first to complete the training also received their certificates on Friday.
One of them is Andin Mayzir Saman, a waste collection truck driver. He said: “The WSQ (training) has helped me to gain more experience and safety skills in our daily job. For example, when we stop the vehicle, we have to put the choke, so that it’s safer for myself and my colleagues.”
Veolia ES is one of four public waste collectors that signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly spearhead training efforts with the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and other key agencies.
This is part of the government’s efforts to put in place skills upgrading to help low-wage workers advance their careers.
Workers in this sector earn between S$1,200 and S$2,500 a month. The WDA hopes that the training programme will lead to higher pay. It also plans to start an apprenticeship programme to subsidise 70 per cent of the training for a year.
Julia Ng, director of manufacturing and construction at the WDA, said: “With this apprenticeship programme, we hope to attract more locals to join the industry as part of professionalising their career and they can look forward to career progression.”
Source: Channel NewsAsia
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