SINGAPORE - Institute of Technical Education graduates and mid-career professionals who wish to pursue a career in the environmental services and waste management industries have been given a boost with a new part-time diploma.
The 18-month programme by Republic Polytechnic (RP), launched on Wednesday (Jan 3), intends to upskill workers in the environmental services industry in order to meet growing manpower needs.
It will be the first SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP) for waste management and cleaning services. The SkillsFuture ELP is a nationwide scheme across various sectors that was started in 2015, and allows participants to undergo on-the-job training while studying.
Participants in the RP programme will be given insight into the sectors and taught skills for roles such as operations executives and hazardous waste specialists.
There is also a non-ELP format of the programme for adult learners keen on switching careers to the waste management industry, where they will be equipped to play supervisory or senior technical roles.
The initiative will contribute to building a skilled resident workforce in the industry - one of the strategies of the Environmental Services Industry Transformation Map launched in December last year.
With the implementation of the road map's initiatives, about 30,000 people in the environmental services industry will benefit from higher value-added jobs through upskilling and technology adoption by companies by 2025, said Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources and Health, at the event at the polytechnic in Woodlands.
There were more than 78,000 professionals and 1,700 companies in the sector as of 2016.
"As we increasingly face manpower constraints due to low birth rates and an ageing workforce, it is even more critical to ensure that the (environmental services) sector is progressive, competent and productive," Dr Khor added.
The event on Wednesday also saw the unveiling of the RP Rain Garden, an outdoor-learning facility built in collaboration with national water agency PUB. In the rain garden, students will be able to examine and test water quality.