News @ AsiaOne

Workers get help to snag driving licence

Workers will also receive help from the union to be placed in jobs such as those of delivery-van drivers and bus captains. -myp
Reico Wong

Thu, Jul 05, 2012
my paper

Photo of See Chip Yew, senior bus catain from SBS Transit, who was named Most Service-Oriented Individual at the Land Transport Excellence Awards 2012.

Singaporeans who are interested to take up jobs as drivers in the transport and logistic industry can now get funding help for training.

Specifically, those who want to attain a Class 3 or 4 driving licence can have 90 per cent of their course fees subsidised, thanks to a new initiative launched yesterday by the National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC's) transport and logistics services cluster.

Aimed at helping low-wage workers upgrade their skills and avail themselves of better job opportunities, the programme is open to those who earn a monthly salary of less than $1,700 or have a household per capita of less than $1,400 each month.

Unemployed individuals who sign up will receive a training allowance of between $4 and $4.50 per hour for the duration of the course.

Those under the programme will also be able to attain their driving licences within a much shorter timeframe, as driving lessons for them will be conducted at more frequent intervals.

After getting their licences, they will also receive help from the union to be placed in jobs such as those of delivery-van drivers and bus captains.

Interested individuals should register with NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute. Workers like Mr Azmeer Rohani, 32, who had wanted to upgrade his Class 3 licence to a Class 4 one but was hesitant because of the high cost, welcomed the scheme. He said that a Class 4 licence would have cost him more than $900, but he had to fork out only $177.50 when he signed up during the programme's pilot run. "With my new driving licence, I managed to find a better job with more responsibilities and better career-advancement opportunities. My pay has also increased by $1,000 to $2,700," said Mr Azmeer, who now works as a driver and operations executive with logistics company GAC (Singapore).

NTUC's transport and logistics services cluster yesterday also introduced its progressive wage structure, which laid out the salary levels workers can expect with a higher class of driving licence. Mr Desmond Choo, the cluster's lead, said that the structure "builds a route map of opportunities and wage milestones so that workers can aspire to do more".

When asked by my paper about his work in Hougang constituency, Mr Choo said that he has gone back to working the ground and catching up with residents after failing to win the ward for the PAP in the May by-election. He shared that voting for lift-upgrading programmes there has cleared the 75 per cent quota needed for the initiative to go through.


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