SINGAPORE: More bus captains will be needed in the next five years to meet Singapore's transport needs, said Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo on Monday (Jul 24).
It's estimated that the bus industry will need a workforce of about 11,100 by 2022. This is an increase of about 13 per cent from the 9,800 workers currently.
Mrs Teo, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, noted that the number of workers in the bus industry has already been growing, with the number of bus captains growing by 30 per cent in the last five years.
Equally important, she said, is the professionalism of the workforce, not just its size.
Mrs Teo was speaking at a ceremony marking the graduation of the Singapore Bus Academy's (SGBA) 1,000th trainee.
Newly minted bus captain Aw Weihan told Channel NewsAsia he chose this line of work as he was familiar with the service industry and was not keen on a desk-bound job. He said the training at SGBA helped him improve his awareness of potential road hazards so that he can better anticipate road situations.
The academy was developed by the Public Transport Sectoral Tripartite Committee last October to provide standardised training and improve competency standards across the industry.
New bus captains have to complete a five-day Enhanced Vocational Licence Training Programme (EVLTP), which is a requirement for them to attain their Omnibus Driver’s Vocational Licence.
The programme is conducted by in-house trainers from the academy, the National Transport Workers' Union, as well as bus operators SBS Transit and SMRT.
Trainees have to learn safe driving techniques, an overview of the public transport industry and rules of the road, as part of their training.