The SkillsFuture For Digital Workplace pilot program was formed to help cab drivers understand digital technology and over 60 drivers showed up for the event.
The use of digital technology and various applications including e-payment solutions such as internet banking, PayNow, and other business applications were demonstrated to cab drivers how to help them run more smoothly. These applications and technologies were offered by Republic Polytechnic (RP).
LHUB (NTUC Learning Hub), NTA (National Taxi Association) and RP had worked together to deliver this program for the taxi drivers. MOE (Minister of Education) along with the second Minister for Defence, Mr Ong Ye Kung had also joined to assit with the training and guide the cab drivers in acquiring the new skills. The average age of these drivers was 62.
The CEO of NTUC, Mr Kwek Kok Kwong said that he understood that technology can seem threatening and a little scary for some people. What they try to do is make the learning experience fun and interesting for the students as they learn new skills.
At 69 years of age, Mr Yeo who has been a taxi driver for 39 years was one of the participants that attended the program. While attending the program, he said it takes him a while to catch on.
President of the National Taxi Association, Raymond Ong, believes that cab drivers are more worried that they are not able to catch up with new technology. The association has the intention to embark on a “Buddy System” that will include younger drivers who are more knowledgeable in technology to teach and help the older drivers with digital technology.
In July, it was reported that the number of cab drivers has dropped significantly since the arrival of private-hire car firms such as Uber and Grab in 2013. Last year’s statistics showed there were approximately twenty-five thousands active cabbies in the Singapore area and half of those drivers were over the age of 55. The cab industry is going through significant changes due to the rise in digital technology.
Singapore is stepping up to the plate to help older drivers learn new technologies and improve their work environment. NTUC LearningHub is planning on training another one-thousand drivers next year. The programme will comprise of ten hours training in the classroom and two hours off-line training.
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