RECRUITMENT TALENT ATTRACTION
Singapore – As Singapore revs up to meet the demands of a new bus improvement plan, transport firms have launched recruitment strategies to hire hundreds of drivers.
SBS Transit and SMRT have recruited about 600 drivers this year, an increase from the 430 hired last year. By the end of the year, 360 more drivers are expected to be employed, and both operators said they have “widened their recruitment network”.
The Straits Times reported a driver earns an average basic salary of S$1,600 a month, and SMRT has a scheme which encourages current staff to persuade friends and family to join the profession. SBS Transit has also launched recruitment roadshows at bus interchanges and MRT stations, along with running job ads in newspapers, buses and trains.
However, both operators are still struggling to meet the demand, and a SMRT spokesperson said one reason may be because of the better standard of living in Singapore.
“As Singaporeans are becoming better qualified with higher career aspirations, it has become increasingly difficult to attract them to become service leaders,” he said.
SMRT said it has drivers from Singapore, China and Malaysia, but did not break down the figures. SBS said more than 60% of its bus captains are either Singaporean or PRs, 29% are Malaysian and the rest from China.
Both operators said they hold intensive training programmes of up to 45 days, imparting safe driving and service skills, amongst other things.
Singapore’s government’s Bus Services Enhancement Plan, which is estimated to cost S$1.1 billion, should result in shorter waiting times, and more frequent bus services. There will also be 800 new buses and 14 news routes.
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