Level up skilled technician numbers to work on lifts

Setting aside 14 per cent of a town council's income for a dedicated Lift Replacement Fund is a move that is overdue, given the number of lift accidents over the past two years ("Town councils to set aside 14% of income for lift fund"; Jan 24).

But the big question is: Are there enough skilled technicians to perform quality maintenance and repair work on the lifts?

Lift replacement and lift maintenance are labour-intensive jobs.

If the industry is suffering from a dearth of workers with the relevant skill set, then it would hardly be surprising if the schedule for lift replacement cannot be completed on time.

Equally important is whether tenders awarded for lift replacement are based on the proven track record of companies or if a heavy weightage is placed on price.

Too much emphasis on costs could result in projects being awarded to companies which are eager to clinch the tender but are short on experience or, worse, compromise on the quality of materials or the technical competency of their workers.

Singapore has been suffering from a shortage of workers with competency in mechanical and electrical repairs and maintenance of lifts ("Lift sector facing shortage of engineers, technicians"; Aug 1, 2016).

The Government should encourage more young Singaporeans to join the industry through incentivised training and an attractive compensation package.

More importantly, it should help to promote a change of attitude towards such jobs, which are usually deemed to be low-paying, dirty and unglamorous.

Gabriel Cheng Kian Tiong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2017, with the headline 'Level up skilled technician numbers to work on lifts'. Print Edition | Subscribe