Cabbies get Skillsfuture training to get tech-savvy

By October 30, 2017Current

TL;DR – They now know how to use PayNow.

I don’t know about you, but previously, I used to avoid taking taxis because the cabbies used to strike me as technologically adverse and I much prefer using an app to book my rides and opting for cashless payment methods.

Not anymore.

Taxi drivers these days seem to have caught up and are now a lot more competent with technology.

Recently, sixty cabbies attended a Skillsfuture For Digital Workplace (SFDW) pilot programme which was designed to help them overcome their fear of new digital platforms.

This workshop was organised by the National Taxi Association (NTA) in collaboration with Republic Polytechnic (RP) and NTUC LearningHub Pte Ltd (LHUB) where the taxi drivers got to learn and get hands-on experience with digital applications and platforms such as, internet banking, ePayment methods such as PayNow and other relevant business applications.

The SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace was launched on 5 October 2017 by Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung. Led by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), this two-day training initiative aimed to equip Singaporeans with basic digital skills that are useful at the workplace and in their daily lives. The Government hopes to have 100,000 Singaporeans undergo the SFDW programme within the next three years.

The Labour Movement welcomed this move and one of its associations, National Taxi Association (NTA), set forth to work with NTUC’s LHub and RP to customise a SFDW programme for taxi drivers.

Minister Ong, who observed the taxi drivers’ training workshop, said, “This is a good initiative and I am very heartened to hear the positive feedback from taxi drivers about the course content. The SFDW for cabbies is a good example of how the initiative can be tailored to meet the needs of any worker in any industry, including freelancers and the self-employed.”

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The taxi industry is undergoing rapid change due to technological advances such as taxi matching. There are currently 25, 000 active taxi drivers in Singapore, of whom 50% are aged 55 and above. These taxi drivers will need to embrace technological advances and leverage them to improve their productivity and expand their business opportunities.

The three partners, NTA, LHUB and RP, believe that the SFDW would help the taxi drivers to do so. NTA Executive Adviser Mr Ang Hin Kee commented,

“We are encouraged that the feedback on the SFDW from taxi drivers has been positive. Taxi operators have also expressed their keenness in assisting their taxi partners to attend this training.”

The taxi industry is facing much disruption due to changes brought about by technology. In July 2017, The Straits Times had reported that the industry saw a 10% drop in business after ride-hailing apps Uber and Grab arrived here in 2013.

LHUB aims to train another 1,000 taxi drivers in 2018. The course curriculum will include 10 hours of classroom sessions and two hours of off-site learning. This will help taxi drivers in their daily work and hopefully provide greater convenience for them and passengers.


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Flora Isabelle Lim

Author Flora Isabelle Lim

On a constant quest to be a really professional internet person.

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