Integrated environmental services provider receives award for commitment to employee learning and development

LS 2 Services’ comprehensive employee training programme bags the company the SkillsFuture Employer Award

For cleaners like Ms May Chia, who was promoted to team leader within a year, training and development opportunities allow them to earn higher wages. PHOTO: THARM SOOK WAI

In just two years after joining the company, cleaning team leader May Chia, 62, now works smarter, has an easier time — and is earning more.

It all comes with learning new skills. And it's a win-win for her and her employer, cleaning and conservancy provider LS 2 Services.

She gains from their progressive training policies, and the company earned recognition by receiving the SkillsFuture Employer Award in December last year.

The award, which is presented by President Halimah Yacob, honours organisations that champion employees’ skills development and build a culture of lifelong learning at the workplace.

Recipients can place the awards logo on their corporate collaterals to distinguish themselves as an employer of choice.

Says the mother of two and grandmother of one: “Training makes my work easier, safer and more intelligent. It gave me an opportunity to upgrade my job as well and I am glad for the opportunity to learn new skills that allow me to work smarter.” 

With older workers aged 62 and above making up just under half its 2,000 employees, LS 2 believes that investing in its employees is key to keeping and motivating its staff while increasing productivity.

How do employees stand to gain? Opportunities and higher wages with last year’s update to the progressive wage model (PWM). The PWM will see the base wages of cleaners increase from next year and every year until 2028.

For Ms Chia, the company’s priority in training and development has already paid off.

Ms Chia, who joined LS 2 in March 2020 after working as a healthcare cleaner for 10 years, was sponsored by the company to take two courses. One on complying with workplace safety and health policies and procedures, and another on understanding cleaning chemicals. 

These courses, which could be completed within 17 hours, are conducted by an external training company under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications.

In February last year, Ms Chia’s newly acquired skillsets earned her a promotion to team leader, along with an over 10 per cent increment to her four-figure salary.

“Being able to learn and handle new technology in my job is important as it allows me to keep up to date with the skillsets required for the future and allows me to work longer.”

Says Ms Tan Wei Ying, 27, LS 2’s chief operating officer: “We encourage our employees to upgrade their skills through training, so that they can progress to higher value-added jobs, work more effectively and earn more.”

No employee left behind

As demand for environmental services grows, the sector has to ensure it has the skilled manpower and resources to meet this demand. 

In 2017, the Government launched the Environmental Services Industry Transformation Map (ITM) to set the direction for the sector to transform to remain sustainable. 

With the ITM, professionals in the environmental services sector can benefit from new, higher value-added jobs as companies upskill and adopt new technology.

Ms Tan says the updates to the progressive wage model are a timely and necessary adjustment to recognise the importance of the work undertaken by their employees. PHOTO: THARM SOOK WAI

Adds Ms Tan: “There is a greater need for technical skills in the environmental services sector. LS 2 needs to be prepared and ensure that employees have the required skills to meet the higher needs of the cleaning industry.” 

The company has invested in new equipment such as smart compactor bins that automate cleaning processes, while autonomous scrubbers reduce the manual workload on employees by allowing them to clean more areas and maintain the same level of quality. This helps its workforce achieve “productive longevity”, explains Ms Tan. 

It also has Internet of Things-enabled devices such as smart toilet systems that collect data about the conditions and utilisation of toilets, allowing staff to plan cleaning schedules and deploy cleaners more efficiently.

Employees are trained to use LS 2’s in-house application on tablets to conduct internal audits and monitor project sites.

“Our employees are doing an important job in contributing to cleanliness and hygiene in Singapore. We believe in upskilling our workers and enhancing their technological know-how so that they can be more efficient and productive. This allows us to be ready for the future of work,” says Ms Tan.

Receiving the SkillsFuture Employer Award, says Ms Tan, “is testament to our efforts in building a lifelong learning culture in the workplace and contribution to the SkillsFuture movement.”

This is the final of a two-part series in partnership with SkillsFuture Singapore

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