Academy to train bus drivers
An academy for bus drivers will be set up later this year to train newcomers and add to the skills of experienced ones.
It will be located at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability in Jurong East and will offer courses to complement training programmes of public bus operators.
It will start with a five-day foundational course which will take new bus drivers through topics such as safe driving, customer service, labour-union relations, and bus ticketing.
The Singapore Bus Academy, an "anchor initiative" of an extensive manpower plan for the bus sector, was announced by Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo.
The Government wants to increase the number of bus drivers in Singapore by nearly a third, from 9,200 today to about 12,000 over the next five years, Mrs Teo said yesterday.
"Our aim is to transform the profession so that it is more attractive, skills-intensive and respected. In particular, we will help the Singaporean core of bus professionals enjoy good career development and be ready for future transitions," she said.
This will support the transition to a Government contracting model, under which bus routes will be tendered out in packages to operators to run, which have to meet higher service reliability standards.
Anglo-Australian firm Tower Transit, the winner of the inaugural Government contract, will start operating nine of 26 routes later this month.
Mrs Teo said the sectoral manpower plan aims to attract and retain local bus drivers to strengthen the Singaporean core, and to help them grow their careers.