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SBS Transit - Press Release
SBS Transit - Press Release
Archive - July '05

New SBS Transit Bus Captain Scheme Attracts Three Times As Many Singaporean Applicants In The First Month Of Implementation

Since the beginning of this year, SBS Transit and the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) have been working closely to upgrade the salary structure and redesign the job of SBS Transit Bus Captains.

In July 2005, the New SBS Transit Bus Captain Scheme was implemented. This scheme included an enhanced salary structure and also incorporated on-going efforts at image upgrading and professional certification and training (through the National Skills Recognition System).

In the first month of implementation, SBS Transit received three times as many Singaporean applications, as compared to the previous monthly average of 60.

The first batch of 27 Bus Captain trainees under this new scheme were presented with their Vocational Licenses by Mr. Lim Swee Say, NTUC Deputy Secretary-General and Minister (Prime Minister’s Office), at the launch ceremony this morning.

The public bus transport sector has always faced difficulties in attracting and retaining Singaporean Bus Drivers due to various reasons. The job of a Bus Captain often implies long working hours and shift work. At times, there has also been a mismatch in terms of salary expectations and the value of the jobs. These factors have resulted in the sector having to depend heavily on foreign labour.

With the New Bus Captain Scheme, SBS Transit aims to take the lead in enhancing the worth of jobs and attracting more Singaporeans to the industry through an enhanced salary structure, wider responsibilities and an upgraded image for the jobs. The Job Re-creation Programme (JRP) also focuses on professional certification and training and continuing education of workers so that they acquire skills and capabilities to take on the redesigned jobs.

So far, more than 5,600 jobs in other industries have been re-created for locals under the JRP. With the transport sector’s JRP efforts underway, the tripartite partners – the Government, unions and employers – involved in the JRP initiative expect to reach the target of 10,000 jobs within the planned 12 to 18 months. The JRP creates a positive outcome for all tripartite partners as redesigning the jobs and matching Singaporeans with these jobs will help to alleviate the problem of structural unemployment in Singapore.

During the launch of SBS Transit’s New Bus Captain Scheme, NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Lim Swee Say was taken on a tour of the bus training circuit by the best trainee from the pioneer cohort of the New Bus Captain Scheme.

Details of enhancements to the Bus Captain Scheme

1. Upgraded salary structure:
The basic entry salary for Bus Captains, effective from 1 July 2005, will be $1,200 per month for Singaporeans. Previously, the basic entry salary was $936.

2. Upgraded image of Bus Captains
Although the image of Bus Captains has already evolved over a period time, the emphasis now is turned towards further enhancing the professional image of Bus Captains. They are not merely ‘bus drivers’, but transport officers dedicated to providing an essential service with world class service quality and safety.

3. Recognised certification and professional training
The Bus Captains will have to go through nearly 260 hours of rigorous theoretical and practical training before becoming fully qualified Bus Captains. The training will focus on safety awareness, quality customer service and safety, first aid, emergency handling procedures, and bus maintenance and service operation. Thereafter, they will be awarded their vocational driving license and certification in Bus Operation Service Proficiency (BOSP).

4. Employability camps
Together with NTUC LearningHub, SBS Transit will conduct a two-day Employability Camp (EC) for all newly-recruited Bus Captains. The EC is customised to help the new Bus Captains familiarise themselves with the transport industry and better understand the requirements of the job. The topics that will be covered during the ECs include:

(i) Introduction of SBS history and an overview of transport industry
(ii) A new beginning being a Bus Captain and addressing job concern
(iii) Personal Image – Creating a good first impression, personal grooming
(iv) Retention – Emotion Intelligence
(v) Stress Management
(vi) Working Safely and Effectively – Safety First Culture
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