NTWU-SMRT Training Committee introduces Customised Digital Programme for its Rail and Bus Workers

6 August 2019

NTWU-SMRT Training Committee introduces Customised Digital Programme for its Rail and Bus Workers

1  Today, the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) and SMRT introduced a customised SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace programme for SMRT employees. Initiated by the NTWU-SMRT Company Training Committee (CTC), SMRT has partnered NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB) to help equip its employees with necessary digital skills and help them leverage existing workplace technological tools to improve operational effectiveness and efficiency.

2  This new initiative is the first arising from the NTWU-SMRT CTC, which was formed in February this year, to identify and address skill gaps and training needs required by SMRT employees; curate and develop training programmes to help them "train up to keep up, and skill up to move up"; and eventually, enjoy better wages, welfare and work prospects.

3  The new initiative was announced at SMRT’s National Day Observance Ceremony by Guest-of-Honour, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng.

SMRT Bus and Rail Workers to Attend Customised SFDW Course

4  Delivered by NTUC LHUB, the customised SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace programme which is supported by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), will help bus and rail workers understand the key trends and technologies affecting the future of work in the
Land Transport Industry and the future economy, adopt a future-ready mindset and develop action plans to pursue continuous learning. The course will also help employees learn how they can leverage existing SMRT work-related apps like Workplace by Facebook and use Augmented Reality and/or Virtual Reality technology in their work. SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace is a SkillsFuture initiative to equip Singaporeans with foundational digital skills to prepare them for technological changes in their workplace and daily lives.

5  On 24 July and 5 August 2019, pilot classes were conducted for more than 40 SMRT workers to learn about the importance of digital transformation. They also had hands-on training: While learning how to use mobile apps in their workplace, they also learnt that digital transformation is not that intimidating – every small step towards it counts. Such courses enhance the digital knowledge of SMRT’s workforce and help SMRT employees to better keep up with the rapid technological changes and stay engaged in the company.

6  "NTUC LearningHub is excited to work with NTWU, SMRT and SSG to help upskill rail and bus workers through the Skillsfuture for Digital Workplace program. We are glad that the initial pilot has received good feedback, and we look forward to rolling this out across SMRT. In light of the rapid pace of change, we believe that learning is now a daily essential and a learning culture is a great culture to build in any workplace. Through a learning lens, workers, management and union leaders can see issues at work differently and can potentially open many more options to trigger innovation and improvement across the organisation," said Mr Kwek Kok Kwong, Chief Executive Officer of NTUC LearningHub, which is one of SSG’s appointed SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace Training Partners.

7  Mr Krishnasamy Suriyakhanu, SMRT Rail Traffic Branch Chairman and Circle Line Station Manager who attended the pilot class shared, “The programme provides an
insight to digitalisation at the workplace. We found the hands-on session particularly useful, and the skills learnt, easy to apply. My colleagues and I who attended the course are now more aware of mobile apps that can assist us at both the workplace as well as in our personal life.”

8  Taking in feedback from the pilot classes, there will be a review conducted to further customise the contents before the course is progressively rolled out to more in the SMRT workforce.

Going Forward

9  The NTWU-SMRT CTC will continue to take steps to make sure that SMRT employees have up-to-date skills to remain employed and employable, as well as to develop their confidence in navigating the digital economy.

10  Sharing SMRT's belief in the Kaizen concept, Mr Seah Moon Ming, Chairman, SMRT shared, "We believe in a digital and networked SMRT so as to do our jobs better with higher productivity. SMRT has adopted the Kaizen methodology to enhance staff ownership and improve our daily work processes. We want to be a leading public transport service company that Singaporeans can be proud of."

11  Mr Neo Kian Hong, Group Chief Executive Officer, SMRT Corporation added, "SMRT is committed to work towards Singapore's Smart Nation goal. As a public transport service provider, we are undergoing a digital transformation across the company to provide safer, more reliable and more comfortable journeys to commuters. Digital technology has brought many changes, and we want to prepare our staff to embrace the transformation. We are happy to work with NTUC to equip our staff with the necessary digital skills to stay employed and employable."

12  “In line with the Land Transport Master Plan 2040, it is absolutely important that we ensure our public transport operators continue to invest in enhancing the capabilities of their workforce. The Company Training Committee is an initiative by the Labour Movement to ensure that both employers and unions work together to help the workers and companies transform for the future. We will continue to work closely with SMRT to seize opportunities for companies to adopt new technologies and for workers to be equipped with the necessary skills sets to exploit and leverage these new tools to become Worker 4.0.”, Mr Melvin Yong, Executive Secretary of National Transport Workers’ Union concluded.