The National Taxi Association (NTA) and ComfortDelGro Taxi have formed a new Training Committee for cabbies, which will provide relevant digital training for them to keep up with technological changes and seize opportunities in the industry.

This was officiated by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between both companies yesterday (25 June).

In a media release, the reason cited for this move was a rapid digital transformation of the taxi industry over the last few years. With greater commuter dependence on technology, cabbies need better knowledge of relevant apps and other technological tools that would help in their daily tasks - for instance, securing passenger bookings, and navigating.

In line with that, the new Training Committee will help with the following:

  • Increasing awareness about job opportunities created by technology;
  • Gathering feedback about current training plans;
  • Identifying training gaps that need to be filled; and
  • Facilitating training sessions for cabbies.

10,000 cabbies will be sent for a customised SkillsFuture course by 2020

To kickstart its efforts, ComfortDelGro Taxi targets to send 10,000 of its cabbies for a customised SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace (SFDW) course by 2020. This will be supported by NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) and NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB).

The classes under this course were previously piloted by the NTA, attended by about 150 taxi leaders who underwent a curriculum focused on hands-on learning.

Based on feedback from attendees of the pilot classes, the customised course for ComfortDelGro cabbies has been enhanced to inculcate learnings of the ComfortDelGro taxi applications, the company's Cabby Portal, and Mobile Data Terminal.

Sharing more about this, Gilbert Tan, CEO of e2i said: "As the cabbies pick up foundational digital skills through the SFDW training to become familiar with common digital touchpoints and acquire digital literacy, the increased confidence and ability to leverage technology will help in enhancing their wages."

To facilitate these training sessions and defray some of the opportunity cost borne by cabbies, ComfortDelGro Taxi and e2i will be provided cabbies with a training allowance. ComfortDelGro Taxi will also provide an additional sum will be provided to those who are NTA members.

Ang Hin Kee, Assistant Director-General of NTUC and Advisor of NTA, said: "Close to half of the taxi drivers are age 60 and above. It is important that they recognise the importance of being updated with practical and useful digital knowledge.

"We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that the training courses are bite-sized, useful and easy for them to adapt to their work. Through the Training Committee, other training initiatives can be explored and rolled out to help our drivers navigate a rapidly transforming industry."

Photo / National Trades Union Congress and ComfortDelGro Taxi