General worker Vijay Sankar, 26, used to wake up at 5.30am every day to get to his workplace on Jurong Island from his dormitory in Pioneer.
Now, he gets almost an extra hour of sleep after moving to a new dorm in Jalan Papan which opened about 11/2 years ago and is a 12-minute drive away from Jurong Island Checkpoint.
In his free time, he also spent four Sundays attending a safety supervisor course at a training centre run by the Association of Process Industry (Aspri) at the dorm.
"When I have time, I can attend courses to improve myself. I want to work more safely so I can continue to take care of my family," said Mr Vijay, who came to Singapore from India four years ago.
More than a quarter of the 85 courses at the training centre are 90 per cent subsidised by Aspri for dorm residents, so Mr Vijay paid only $25.
The 7,900-bed dorm, called Aspri-Westlite Dormitory - Papan, is the first of its kind in Singapore with an attached training centre.
It also has recreational facilities and amenities such as cricket training pitches, an indoor gym, a dental and medical clinic, and a barber shop. Eight workers share a large room, in two-bedroom units with en suite bathrooms and kitchens.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who was the guest of honour at the official opening of the dorm last night, praised the integrated model.
"It is a far cry from the norms we saw in foreign worker dormitories less than a decade ago," he told some 300 government officials, employers and workers at the event.
Aspri president Charles Quek said the association has raised the number of training hours it delivers to 125,000 a year at the integrated training centre, up from 30,000 a year ago at its old facility. It hopes to ramp that up to 400,000 hours over the next three years.
Mr Tony Bin, executive director of accommodation at Centurion Corporation, which jointly developed the 1.5ha dorm site with Lian Beng Group for about $200 million, said he hopes it will "put Singapore on the map" in terms of caring for migrant workers.
Director Dan Chua of engineering and maintenance firm CYC International said he moved 45 of his staff who work on Jurong Island to the dorm from their previous accommodation in Woodlands, saving them two hours of travelling time each day.
His workers also benefit from the subsidised courses and 48 hours of free training that residents receive each year.