New wage ladder and $3.5 million training programme for carpenters

Carpenters can look forward to having their own wage ladder from this month.

The National Trades Union Congress has introduced a new voluntary wage ladder for carpenters on Thursday where the minimum monthly basic pay starts at $1,500. When they become more skilled, their minimum monthly basic pay will increase to at least $3,000.

It is the first wage ladder that the labour movement has introduced in what it calls "traditional skills sector" in which Singapore workers are at risk of disappearing as many of them shun these jobs.

The labour movement has also teamed up with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency and the Singapore Furniture Industries Council to launch a $3.5 million dollar programme to train 180 local carpenters in the next two years. The fund will cover their training and salary subsidies for employers.

The trio also want to rebrand carpenters as creative craftsmen to coax younger Singaporeans into the sector.

Besides carpenters, the NTUC added that it also drawing up new wage ladders for plumbers and electricians. No details were immediately available, although labour chief Lim Swee Say said that these new wage ladders will also be voluntary.