Sembcorp's waste management arm partners construction union to upskill workers

The company training committee is part of an initiative setup by e2i, 32 unionised companies and seven unions on June 1 to equip workers with relevant skills using technology.
The company training committee is part of an initiative setup by e2i, 32 unionised companies and seven unions on June 1 to equip workers with relevant skills using technology.PHOTO: SEMBCORP.COM

SINGAPORE - SembWaste, the waste management arm of Sembcorp Industries, has set up a company training committee (CTC) with the Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees’ Union (Batu), which is expected to benefit around 700 SembWaste employees.

A CTC identifies training needs of workers and designs training programmes to equip them with the skills needed.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by SembWaste and Batu at the former’s Material Recovery Facility at Tuas on Thursday (June 6), a CTC comprising union representatives and SembWaste management will be set up.

They will be supported by NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute, NTUC LearningHub and the National University of Singapore.

More than 50 CTCs have been set up in Singapore but this is the first for the country’s waste management industry.

In an effort to attract more local talent, SembWaste has set out to change the perception of the industry by transforming its operations, through initiatives such as introducing Asia’s first Econic refuse collection truck, which has special features that enhance safety and ease of use.

“The waste management industry is still a very manual industry. People still have a stigma towards it, which is why we want to uplift the industry,” said Mr Neo Hong Keat, senior vice-president (waste management) of Sembcorp Industries.

SembWaste is also Singapore’s first public waste collector to have voluntarily implemented the Progressive Wage Model since 2015, which helps to increase workers’ wages through career progression.

“Through the Progressive Wage Model, people can see a career, and find purpose in what they do – I think that’s what would make people want to join our industry,” Mr Neo added.

NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng believes that encouraging workers to learn new skills will help to increase productivity.
“The CTC is only the first step,” he said. “We hope to do more, such that it is not just a training committee in name, but actually moves different aspects of business and workers forward.”