From garbage truck driver to team captain, Jobs News & Top Stories

In 2015, Mr Lim Peng Soon joined the waste management industry as a garbage truck driver. After undergoing training and upgrading his skills over the last five years, the 46-year-old now oversees a team of around 100 workers. His pay has also gone up, though he declined to say by how much.

Mr Lim works for SembWaste. The company implemented its own progressive wage model (PWM) five years ago, after consultations with the Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees’ Union. “When I first joined the company, I thought I would just be a garbage truck driver.

I didn’t expect that I would become a team captain,” said Mr Lim, who had worked as a truck driver prior to joining SembWaste. He added that he appreciates the company’s wage ladder, which provides him with the opportunity to upgrade his skills and get higher wages. Dr Koh Poh Koon, deputy secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress, told reporters at the end of a visit to SembWaste yesterday: “The progressive companies are already trying on their own some of the principles behind PWM, because they see a need for them to be able to attract talent.

“The question now is… can they have the same effect on the rest of the ecosystem and pull everybody along as well?” Mr Lim, who is married and father of a 16-year-old, said he likes that his job challenges him and allows him to pick up new skills. He added that having a PWM for the entire waste management industry would help attract more locals to it.

“People think that working in this industry is ‘smelly’, but actually you just get used to it after a while.

It is whether you have the right mindset,” he said.

Charmaine Ng

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