SINGAPORE: A voluntary Progressive Wage Model for carpenters in the furniture industry was announced by labour chief Lim Swee Say on Thursday.
The wage model is the first to be introduced among ‘traditional industries’, in a bid to upgrade workers’ skills through job redesigning, increase their wages and drive up productivity.
The wage model includes an apprenticeship scheme that will train 180 Singaporeans for a start.
The scheme hopes to attract and grow the pool of local skilled workforce, which according to Mr Lim, comprises about 20 per cent of the furniture industry as a whole.
Trainees will be paid a salary of S$1,500 during the six-month period.
The wage model for carpenters is a collaboration between the Singapore Furniture Industries Council, the National Trades Union Congress’ e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the Polytechnic of Western Australia and the SFIC Institute.
Mr Lim said the scheme could also be expanded to other traditional jobs such as electricians and plumbers.
The idea is to ensure that the skills of those in the ‘traditional industries’ are not lost when they retire.
He added: “The progressive wage model is a concept tying together skill, productivity, career as well as the wages, and we believe this concept should be relevant to all job sectors, except that the implementation and the approach will vary from sector to sector.”