More than half of landscape firms have taken steps to train workers

March 7, 201610:09 am389 views

With the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) for the landscape industry set to kick in this June, more than half of all registered landscape companies here have already taken steps to train their workers in line with the new requirements.

Under the PWM, all resident landscape maintenance workers in landscape companies registered in the Landscape Company Register must be paid a minimum monthly salary of S$1,300.

Half of these workers must also complete compulsory training under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications framework for landscape by June, with all workers to be trained by June next year.

As of last April, 270 companies, comprising about 90 per cent of the landscape firms here, had been registered. Out of this figure, 151 companies have committed their workers to the required training.

Those that do not comply with the requirements cannot obtain registration and bid for Government landscape service tenders. An estimated 3,000 landscape workers will benefit from the PWM, which was launched last April. More than 1,300 training places have been taken up since then, while 400 workers have already undergone training.

The PWM, which sets a minimum salary, is currently targeted at specific industries such as cleaning, landscaping and security, which are traditionally low-wage and face manpower challenges. The median basic wage of resident landscape workers has been about S$1,000 since 2009.

Minister of State (Manpower) Sam Tan said once the wage model has been rolled out in these three industries, the Government will consider expanding it to other industries, and has already identified 20 possible sectors. He added: “If we are able to come up with new, better, innovative ideas to raise productivity and reduce operating costs, Singapore will benefit from individual efforts and as a whole, we’ll be able to increase competitive advantage over our neighbours.”

Swee Bee Contractor is one landscape company that has already fulfilled the PWM requirements. More than half of its 52 local landscape workers have already been trained and all will have received training by this November.

Its general manager, Ms Sherlyn Ong, said its employees will know how to operate more efficiently and learn new skills such as fertilising, mulching and pruning.

Swee Bee landscape technician Pukori Ginan, 62, said he is pleased to have the chance to upgrade his skills.

Having worked in the landscape industry for the past 11 years, he told TODAY that he would like to learn landscape design. “I can learn more things besides pruning, cutting the grass and watering,” Mr Ginan said.

news source & image credits: todayonline.com

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