Singapore’s Waste Management Industry to Get $5 Million WSQ Training Boost to Raise Productivity Levels [Press Releases]
Singapore, 12 August 2011 – Some 6,000 Singaporean workers in the Waste Management industry are targeted to benefit from a new Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) programme for the Waste Management industry. These include workers such as Waste Collection Truck Drivers, Fleet and Route Coordinators, Waste Recycling workers, Plant Technicians and Managers.
Mr Lim Swee Say, Secretary-General, National Trades Union Congress, presided at the launch of the programme at Veolia ES Singapore today which was held in conjunction with the graduation of the first batch of workers from the new WSQ programme. This programme was developed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) in collaboration with the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS) which has a 95-member base comprising all major Singapore waste management companies.
To mark this significant milestone, Singapore‟s four main Public Waste Collectors (PWCs), namely SembWaste Pte Ltd (SembWaste), Veolia ES Singapore Pte Ltd (Veolia), 800 Super Waste Management Pte Ltd (800 Super Waste) and Colex Holdings Ltd (Colex) also signed a MOU with WDA, NEA, WMRAS and the Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees’ Union (BATU) to signify their commitment to training and upgrading their workforce.
Heralding the tripartite collaboration, Mr Zainal Bin Sapari, Executive Secretary of BATU said, “BATU firmly believes that training and skills upgrading are essential in improving workers‟ salary and companies‟ competitiveness. Over the past two years, BATU and her unionised waste management partners had embarked or are in process of embarking on training programmes and Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP) projects. Till date more than 200 workers from the unionised waste management companies had benefited with higher salary package and better skills as a result of this close collaboration”
The WSQ Waste Management training is also embedded in NEA‟s Public Waste Collectors contract requirements. NEA‟s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Andrew Tan remarked, “NEA is pleased to partner WDA in transforming the Waste & Recycling industry into a key sector of the Clean Environment Cluster through better service standards and higher productivity. Raising skills levels and professionalism will be a key priority”
Companies have already begun sending workers for the new WSQ training. One of the first tracks to be ready is the Waste Management Crew. Mr Lim Chin Khuang, Senior Vice President, SembWaste commented, “We support WDA‟s drive for better productivity in our workforce. As a WSQ Approved Training Organisation, our employees are trained in-house and are equipped with skills that enable them to carry out their duties efficiently. The training is also a platform to upgrade the employees‟ skills and prepare them for career advancement. In addition, having a higher skilled workforce will also help to raise the profile of the waste management industry.”
The new WSQ Waste Management training which includes modules on the proper operation of the waste recycling and collection equipment, comes at a critical time as Singapore aims to set a target of 60% recycling rate by 2012 in the Singapore Green Plan 2012 and 70% recycling rate by 2030 in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint. The technology-related WSQ modules are also in line with moving workers up the value chain to raise productivity levels.
Veolia, the host of today‟s launch graduation ceremony, is one of the companies piloting the innovative use of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in waste collection. Mr Jerome Baco, Veolia‟s Country Manager said, “Veolia Environmental Services in Singapore, being an Approved Training Organization, allows us to provide quality educational and training programmes to our employees on a regular basis. With new technology such as RFID, our employees become more productive and are more aware of health & safety issues pertaining to their job and hence more confident in delivery their work. Through the training programmes, the employees are able to pick up additional skills which give them higher motivation for their professional growth.”
Mr Wong Hong Kuan, Chief Executive, WDA said, “Continuing Education and Training (CET) will continue to underpin WDA‟s strategies in building a highly competent and competitive workforce for Singapore. Our strategy is to introduce more upgrading pathways for workers in sectors like public waste to raise the productivity levels and professionalism of the industry. With the amount of waste set to increase over the years, WDA wants to attract more Singaporeans to look at this industry as a viable career. Through this WSQ Waste Management programme, they can look forward to career advancement with more responsibilities and higher pay.”
Today‟s ceremony also saw Guest of Honour, Mr Lim, presenting WSQ Statements of Attainment (SOAs) to 16 trainees who represented the first cohort of trained Waste Management workers. Mr Thia Chong Huat from A K Lee Enterprise Pte Ltd commented, “After attending the WSQ training, I had acquired more skills about collection and recycling of waste. As WSQ training is competency based, I feel more confident and am operationally ready to do my job better. This course has met my company‟s expectations and has benefited both my company and myself.”
Source and Image: WDA