SMRT workers to be trained in digital skills

SMRT senior station manager Krishnasamy Suriyakhanu said he learnt how to use mobile apps to submit medical claims and check his payslip during the pilot class of the SkillsFuture Digital Workplace Programme. (From left) National Transport Workers' U
(From left) National Transport Workers' Union executive secretary Melvin Yong, labour chief Ng Chee Meng and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Baey Yam Keng interacting with an SMRT employee during the company's National Day observance ceremony at Bishan MRT depot yesterday.PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO
SMRT senior station manager Krishnasamy Suriyakhanu said he learnt how to use mobile apps to submit medical claims and check his payslip during the pilot class of the SkillsFuture Digital Workplace Programme. (From left) National Transport Workers' U
SMRT senior station manager Krishnasamy Suriyakhanu said he learnt how to use mobile apps to submit medical claims and check his payslip during the pilot class of the SkillsFuture Digital Workplace Programme. PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SMRT's workers will soon be able to benefit from a new programme to train them in digital skills.

The customised SkillsFuture Digital Workplace Programme will teach workers how to use apps for both administrative issues and in their jobs.

These skills are necessary as SMRT continues its digital transformation to improve commuters' experience, the company said yesterday.

It partnered with the National Transport Workers' Union (NTWU) to start the programme, under the NTWU-SMRT Company Training Committee.

About 40 workers have attended two pilot classes in the past month. A review will be conducted based on feedback gathered, and the course will be further customised before it is rolled out to more workers.

The company did not say how many workers will go through the programme, but said it will be targeted at non-executives initially.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of SMRT's National Day observance ceremony at its Bishan MRT depot, SMRT group chief executive Neo Kian Hong said the company wants to prepare its workers to embrace technological changes.

"We know that if we focus on and take care of our workers, our workers will take care of the company and the commuters," he added.

  • 40

    Number of SMRT workers who attended two pilot classes under the SkillsFuture Digital Workplace Programme in the past month. A review will be conducted based on feedback gathered, and the course will be further customised before it is rolled out to more workers.

"With the digital skills, they can work together with all our different partners and also make sure we can improve rail reliability."

Mr Krishnasamy Suriyakhanu, 60, a senior station manager at SMRT, said he learnt how to use mobile apps to submit medical claims and check his payslip during the pilot class of the programme. He also learnt to fill in checklists for his inspections using a phone app instead of carrying physical documents around.

He said: "We had the apps but we were not that aware of what functions it had... We were not very into these apps. But after going through the programme, we have more confidence in these apps and we also understand what we can do with them."

Labour chief Ng Chee Meng, who announced the programme at the Bishan MRT depot, said the course comes as part of efforts nationwide to get workers to pick up digital skills.

"Our country and the whole world are going on the digital age," he said. "What is important is to get our workers on this journey as well."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2019, with the headline 'SMRT workers to be trained in digital skills'. Print Edition | Subscribe