The first workers' dormitory here with an integrated training centre was officially opened by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam last night in Jurong. Workers who live in the dorm work in the process, construction and maintenance industry on Jurong Island. They can attend courses at the dorm on technical skills, safety, English and computer skills, some of which are highly subsidised. They also save on travelling time as the 7,900-bed Association of Process Industry (Aspri)-Westlite Dormitory - Papan is just a 12-minute ride away from Jurong Island Checkpoint.
Mr Tharman, in a speech at the opening ceremony, said that Aspri had worked closely with companies in the process, construction and maintenance industry, as well as government agencies and the dorm developers, to meet industry needs. "This model of collaboration... is the way we must keep tackling challenges faced by industry - speeding up innovations, transforming productivity, ensuring employees' interests are served and opening up new markets," he said. He also praised the dormitory as an advance in how foreign workers were treated, adding that it was also part of efforts to engage workers to boost productivity.