Source : Google Street view.

Singapore Bus Academy (SBA), which was officially opened on Monday (17 October), will conduct a standardised centralised training to complement the existing training efforts of individual operators to ensure a consistent service delivery standard across the bus industry workforce.

Starting from 31 October 2016, the first batch of about 30 trainees will take the Enhanced Vocational Licence Training Programme, which will now be a requirement for new bus captains to attain their Omnibus Drivers’ Vocational Licences (ODVL).

This is a five-day programme to provide comprehensive foundational core skills training for new bus captains across all operators which comprised of six modules:

  • Overview of Public Transport Industry.
  • Omnibus Drivers’ Vocational Licence and Regulations.
  • Sectoral Tripartism.
  • Overview of Bus Ticketing System and Common Fleet Management Systems.
  • Service Literacy.
  • Safe Driving Techniques.

Senior Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Transport, Mrs Josephine Teo officiated the opening of SBA at an event held at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability.

BCA was developed by the Public Transport Sectoral Tripartite Committee (PTSTC), which is chaired by SMS Josephine Teo and was formed in August 2015, to support the SkillsFuture movement. Members of PTSTC include representatives from Land Transport Authority (LTA), Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Workforce Singapore (WSG), Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU), SBS Transit Ltd (SBST), SMRT Corporation Limited (SMRT), Tower Transit Singapore (TTS) and Go-Ahead Singapore (GAS).

The Academy is part of the Industry Manpower Plan, which was previously known as the “Sectoral Manpower Plan”, for the public bus industry.

Ms Josephine said that drawing upon industry’s best practices, the programme will be conducted by both in-house trainers as well as trainers from NTWU, SBST and SMRT. e2i will be the programme manager and work with industry partners to develop job facilitation, skills upgrading and career progression for Singaporeans in the public bus industry.

According to Ms Josephine, SBA is also developing other programmes for existing bus professionals to undergo continual training and deepen their skills throughout their careers. While the initial focus is on bus captains, the Academy intends to provide training opportunities to the rest of the bus industry workers such as technicians and planners.

Besides serving as a training centre, the Singapore Bus Academy will also be a career resource centre dedicated to the public bus industry, centralising the most up-to-date information on career options and proficiency requirements. It will be the first touch-point for members of the public who wish to embark on a new career in this sector. Interested individuals will also be able to seek advice from the officers stationed at the Academy.

Ms Josephine said in her speech, “Investing in hardware alone is of course not enough. We depend on a high quality, professional workforce to translate these investments into better commuter experiences on the ground. This is why developing our human resource must be a key pillar of our overall efforts.  With a core of competent bus professionals, commuters can enjoy reliable, safe and comfortable journeys.”

Chief Executive Officer of e2i, Mr Gilbert Tan, said, “We are glad to partner LTA and the industry partners in setting up the Singapore Bus Academy. As the programme manager of the new academy, e2i is committed as the intermediary between the Government, employers and workers to upskill bus professionals and attract more Singaporeans to join the bus industry. Individuals seeking a career in the bus industry will have access to career guidance advisory on career prospects and pathways, as well as be job-matched with hiring employers; bus professionals will enjoy continuous and structured skills training and upgrading opportunities to be more competent and perform their jobs better.”

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