SembWaste (the waste management arm of Sembcorp Industries) and the Building Construction And Timber Industries Employees' Union (BATU) in Singapore inked a partnership yesterday (6 June), to address the training gaps and needs of about 700 SembWaste employees.

This was officialised with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), witnessed by National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng.

What this MoU entails for SembWaste employees

Under the MoU, the organisations will jointly set up a Company Training Committee (CTC), which will design training programmes to equip SembWaste's employees with the relevant skills needed amidst industry transformation.

This is the first such initiative in Singapore’s waste management industry.

Apart from addressing these training needs on the company level, the CTC will eventually work on the industry level too. In particular, SembWaste will explore avenues to develop relevant training and refresher courses to ensure all its workers are well knowledgeable of the latest technology and best practices to perform their jobs safely and effectively, a press release stated.

On the move, Neo Hong Keat, Senior Vice President (Waste Management), Sembcorp Industries, said: "Our people are our greatest asset, and SembWaste believes in investing in training and programmes to enhance our employees’ competencies and well-being, so they are equipped to carry out their jobs efficiently and safely.

"More importantly, such training also allows our employees to enhance their career prospects with the company. We are delighted to collaborate with NTUC and our partners and we look forward to continue working with them - not only to upgrade our employees' skills, but also to contribute towards making a positive impact on the industry as a whole."

The CTC will comprise union representatives; SembWaste's management; supporting partners; NTUC LearningHub; the National University of Singapore; and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).

Other employee-centric initiatives by SembWaste

In line with the above, SembWaste has also incorporated a slew of initiatives over the years, in emphasising on the safety, skills and capabilities of employees.

First, the company voluntarily implemented driving the Progressive Wage Model since 2015, to increase workers’ wages, encourage career progression through upgrading skills, and improve productivity.

Further, it has sent its truck drivers for specially customised training courses to reinforce correct driving practices and give drivers the necessary skills to avoid potential hazardous situations on the road.

Last, it also introduced Asia's first Econic refuse collection truck, equipped with special features for enhanced safety and ease of use, which includes a low-entry concept allowing the driver to have direct eye contact with other road users around him.

Photo / NTUC