SINGAPORE - The number of bus captains will need to increase to about 11,100 by 2022 to meet Singapore's transport needs, said Second Minister for Manpower Mrs Josephine Teo on Monday (July 24).
This is an increase of about 13 per cent from around 9,800 currently.
More bus captains will be needed for the foreseeable future, despite "the prospect of driverless technologies gaining ground", she said, as it is not known when driverless buses will become an "industry mainstay".
Mrs Teo, who is also Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, was speaking at a graduation ceremony for 20 bus captains from the 36th intake of the Singapore Bus Academy, at its headquarters at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability.
Established by the Land Transport Authority in October last year, the Singapore Bus Academy aims to raise the professionalism of the local bus industry.
Mrs Teo said on Monday that the Singapore Bus Academy has to help workers in the bus industry refresh their skills and acquire new skills to stay relevant, which includes orienting the workforce to a future where driverless technologies become "pervasive and commonplace" here.
The academy has trained more than 1,000 bus captains under its five-day Enhanced Vocational Licence Training Programme, which teaches safe driving techniques and customer service skills.