Lazada Singapore partners with NTUC to give staff brighter advancement prospects

NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng (second from left) with Lazada Singapore chief executive Loh Wee Lee (on Mr Ng’s left) at the firm's West Fulfilment Centre on July 22, 2022. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - More than 700 logistics staff under Lazada Singapore will pick up skills to prepare them for new jobs and be adept at using technology, robotics and automation at the workplace.

This comes as the e-commerce company signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Food, Drinks and Allied Workers Union (FDAWU) to set up a company training committee (CTC). The union is affiliated to the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

The eventual aim is for Lazada to put in place a road map to help its transport and warehouse workers advance in their careers and earn more, and for there to be a company-based progressive wage model, said NTUC, FDAWU and Lazada in a joint statement.

NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng said on Friday (July 22) that with the MOU, the labour movement wants to partner the company so that it can increase staff productivity and improve business performance.

With better business, Lazada workers can enjoy better wages and better work prospects in the long term, he said during a visit to Lazada's West Fulfilment Centre in Jalan Buroh, adding that it will be a win-win for both sides.

Lazada chief executive officer Loh Wee Lee said a structured career path with upskilling initiatives allows workers to switch roles or climb the career ladder.

"Progressive wages are a part of this and we intend for all our logistics colleagues to develop a meaningful career with us," he added.

The MOU was signed during Mr Ng's visit to the Lazada centre.

CTCs comprise representatives from a company's management and union leaders. Their job is to review a firm's training plans, identify skill gaps, plan for reskilling and career progression for workers, and develop new training programmes.

Through the CTC, Lazada said it plans to develop a structured career pathway for e-commerce logistics. For example, a delivery representative can progress to be a route-planning manager or a supervisor of a group of delivery representatives.

Staff who are expected to benefit are those in the warehouse and transport roles servicing the company's supermarket service, RedMart.

Among them is Mr Muhammad Reno Abdul Rashid, a 27-year-old shift operations manager who manages the shifts for 150 staff.

He looks forward to sending more staff for upskilling courses. "I don't think anyone just wants to be stagnant at one place," he said.

The Government is setting aside $100 million to scale up efforts to help companies implement concrete training and transformation programmes.

A total of $70 million has been set aside for the NTUC CTC Grant. From Aug 1, companies that have set out concrete plans to transform their workforce, raise productivity, redesign jobs and upskill workers will be able to tap this grant.

Lazada is looking to apply for the grant, which will be used to upskill its workers, among other things.

FDAWU general secretary Tan Hock Soon said the union will work with Lazada to apply for the grant.

"Workers would be able to perform their work more efficiently and achieve higher productivity, allowing them to enjoy rewards through career development, progression and better salary remuneration."

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