SMRT to increase headcount by 20% for improved bus, train services

Transport provider SMRT will be recruiting more workers and upgrading its staff through a slew of initiatives early this year so as to improve its public transport services.

In a statement on Thursday (Feb 18), SMRT said it is looking to increase its headcount as part of its efforts to better serve bus and train commuters and also improve the reliability of its public transportation system.

SMRT Trains aims to increase its headcount by some 15 per cent or 700 rail staff, whereas SMRT Buses targets to increase its staff strength by 20 per cent or about 500 new staff. The company said that this is in anticipation of new trains to be introduced for at least three MRT lines as well as more buses.

The company will work closely with National Transport Workers' Union (NTWU) as they work on their new initiatives.

SMRT also said it aims to "be an employer of choice" by emphasising employee growth and development, instilling a service excellence culture and also ensuring fair remuneration for workers.

In an effort to upgrade staff skill sets and improve career proposition in public transport, SMRT has introduced various forms of initiatives including changes to the salaries of bus captains and bus operations staff as well as an enhanced joining bonus.

SMRT vice-president for human resources Gerard Koh said: "So far, our HR efforts are on the right track as voluntary attrition rates are at an all-time low of about 5 per cent, headcount continues to grow steadily at 10-15 per cent per year, and engagement levels of staff are the best in class at 86 per cent. That said, we will continue to do more to keep improving our staff, so they in turn can serve our commuters better."

SMRT currently employs over 9,000, a growth of about 30 per cent from its staff strength in 2012.