While netizens are angry at SMRT for their system-wide train disruption which happened to the North-South and East-West Lines yesterday, here’s what SMRT has done to build a Singaporean core of workers for its bus operations.
SMRT launched on 2 July 2015, a new bus driving simulator for its drivers and bus operations staff working from its command centre. The new Bus Training and Evaluation Centre (BTEC) is part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the SMRT Corporation, NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) which was signed in September 2014.
What’s more important, is that the MOU, including the BTEC, supports the SkillsFuture Initiative introduced by the Government early this year.
Over the years, Singapore’s public bus transportation sector has undergone many improvements to enhance commuter satisfaction. But all these have been in terms of fleet and facilities. This introduction of a simulator centre, which includes 16 simulators – eight Full Cabin Simulators and eight Bus Simulator Trainers, will enhance training quality and safety as the drivers learn how to manoeuvre different buses under various road conditions before hitting the road.
Why is this simulator important?
As SMRT’s President and Group Chief Executive Officer Desmond Kuek shared at the opening ceremony, “By using technology as a key enabler through the use of simulators for customised, team and scenario-based learning, we hope to develop a highly skilled and well-trained workforce to better serve all bus commuters in Singapore.”
With its limited amount of land, Singapore faces a constraint when it comes to training facilities for trainee buses. Hence, it is completely necessary for such a training simulator to allow workers to train efficiently without constantly worrying about road hazards.
What’s more, the simulator centre would give trainee drivers an all-rounded experiential training where drivers can learn how to respond to different scenarios.
SkillsFuture to give a better future
The SkillsFuture Initiative was launched to provide Singaporeans an avenue to obtain, deepen and upgrade their skills to be better workers, to find better jobs and to build a Singaporean Core across various sectors.
Thus, the BTEC runs along the lines of providing opportunities for every Singaporean to learn and develop skills needed to be an efficient and safe bus driver in the public bus sector.
Indeed, what better way to encourage more Singaporeans to join the public bus transport sector but by launching such a training facility which makes use of technology to prepare prospective workers.