Forum: Trials to be conducted for job clustering, which aims to improve employees' lives

A man from a landscaping company trimming some plants.
A man from a landscaping company trimming some plants.PHOTO: ST FILE

We agree with Mr Ng Chee Kheon that the job clustering project should take into account complementary tasks and skill sets, rather than multi-skilling across unrelated sectors (Train security officers, cleaners, gardeners in complementary skills, Nov 29).

Companies that have indicated their commitment to this project will embark on pilot trials to ascertain the appropriate jobs that can be clustered to boost the value, productivity and wages of employees in the estates/facilities management sector.

This phase will also include trials to calibrate the workload, operational feasibility and productivity gains from this new model at selected properties and job sites. This is to ensure that the underlying objective of improving the wages and lives of employees providing essential services is achieved. We look forward to sharing the results of the trials in due course.

To address Mr Foo Kwang Sai's concern (Study impact of job clustering on older workers, Nov 27), this initiative, outlined in the Singapore Business Federation's Sustainable Employment - Achieving Purposeful Business Success Together report, is intended to raise productivity through job redesign and the innovative use of technology, rather than to add to their workload in the essential services sector.

They can then expand their skill sets to complementary activities, perform their roles more efficiently, and enjoy higher wages and better career prospects.

Among the six recommendations outlined in the report, Singapore Business Federation is also calling on companies to redesign jobs with mature employees in mind.

We are confident that the pioneer partners of this initiative, which include Far East Organization, CapitaLand, Certis Group, CBM, Greenology, ISS Facility Services and Pontiac Land, will consider the profile, needs and strengths of their mature employees in these roles in their pilot trials.

We thank Mr Foo and Mr Ng for the opportunity to address their concerns. For further queries on sustainable employment or the report, we can be reached at sustainable.employment@ sbf.org.sg

The full report can also be accessed at https://www.sbf.org.sg/business-advocacy/sustainable-employment

Ho Meng Kit

Chief Executive Officer

Singapore Business Federation

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2019, with the headline 'Trials to be conducted for job clustering, which aims to improve employees' lives'. Print Edition | Subscribe