Aetos security officers to get three-tier skills upgrading

NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng visiting Aetos, where he witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the company and the Union of Security Employees. PHOTO: AETOS HOLDINGS
NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng visiting Aetos, where he witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the company and the Union of Security Employees. PHOTO: AETOS HOLDINGS

More than 1,000 Aetos security officers will get to upgrade their skills through a new three-tiered training programme, under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the security firm and the Union of Security Employees yesterday.

The programme - which centres on the creation of a Company Training Committee (CTC) - will provide advanced training packages to teach the security officers new skill sets ranging from increased digital savviness, emergency response and first aid to customer service and facilities management.

The courses will be customised and curated for the Aetos security officers depending on the facility and location where they are posted.

Aetos representatives said the skill upgrading would not only lead to a more efficient workforce, but also boost the wages and job opportunities for the security off icers.

The MOU signing was witnessed by the Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), Mr Ng Chee Meng, and the Group Chief Executive Officer of Surbana Jurong Group, Mr Wong Heang Fine.

Mr Ng said that under the progressive wage model - implemented by the Government to increase wages by upgrading skills and improving productivity in various sectors - the pay for security officers has gone up by about 14 per cent since 2018.

The progressive wage model was put in place for the security industry in September 2016. According to figures from NTUC, security officers who earned $1,922 in gross monthly wages in 2018 now take home $2,184 every month.

"Every worker and every job matters, and in particular for low wage sectors in Singapore, we will do our best to help," said Mr Ng .

"In the last two years, we have seen better productivity growth in the security sector, which has been very encouraging."

He added that programmes like Aetos' would help companies and their staff continually learn and upgrade themselves as Singapore progresses towards "Industry 4.0" - when automated technologies powered by data may be able to perform everyday tasks.

The CTC programme at Aetos comes in three tiers, with training packages delivered through a series of virtual classroom and physical training courses.

Senior security officer Raymond Ng Way Hong, 59, said he hopes to pursue programmes in first aid and fire safety.

"I would like to take part in new courses to upgrade myself. This is a new challenge for me and where relevant, I would like to explore opportunities to keep learning and stay current," said Mr Ng, who made a career switch to security work in 2018 after 26 years in the food and beverage industry.

Mr Ng also welcomes Aetos' plans to raise the retirement and re-employment ages to 65 and 70 respectively, from Oct 1.

"As long as I am physically fit, I would like to keep going," he said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2020, with the headline Aetos security officers to get three-tier skills upgrading. Subscribe