Ground-breaking ceremony for large new $200m foreign worker dormitory at Jurong

SINGAPORE - Foreign workers will soon have more convenient access to training as part of an initiative to increase their productivity.

This is the aim of the integrated training facility in the new worker's dormitory in Jurong, due to be completed mid-2016. A ground-breaking ceremony was held Wednesday.

The $200 million project is in Jalan Papan, just 10 minutes from the checkpoint to Jurong Island, where many of the foreign workers work.

The Aspri-Westlite Papan dormitory will incorporate 3,000 sq m of training space, up from about 280 sq m at the current Institute of Process Industry (IPI).

According to the Association of Process Industry president Charles Quek, this will provide 48 annual training hours per worker for the 7,900 housed in the dormitory.

That is up from the 16 hours for the 4,000 workers who currently receive training at the IPI facility.

The training sessions will include English lessons as well as industry-specific courses which will be organised in collaboration with the Process Construction and Maintenance Management Committee,

The courses will either be free or highly subsidised, and held in the eight training classrooms, two computer rooms, and multi-purpose hall in the Aspri Integrated Training Centre.

"The availability of tailored courses will no doubt help the Process Construction and Maintenance (PCM) workforce develop and upgrade their skills and in turn, raise workers' productivity", said Senior Minister of State Mr Lee Yi Shyan at a ground breaking ceremony yesterday.

The dormitory will also provide en-suite kitchens, television rooms, indoor game rooms, outdoor recreation areas, a mini-mart, a barber and even a 24-hour counselling hotline.

Partners in the project include accommodation provider Centurion and construction firm Lian Beng.

Centurion executive director Tony Bin said that this was so "foreign workers are treated as humans with needs and not working machines".

ongkx@sph.com.sg