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National Taxi Association, Comfort form training committee to help cabbies gain digital skills

Group photo of representatives from NTA CDG Taxi e2i and LHUB.JPG
Representatives from the National Taxi Association, ComfortDelGro Taxi, NTUC's e2i and NTUC LearningHub at the memorandum of understanding signing ceremony.

THE National Taxi Association (NTA) and ComfortDelGro Taxi have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a training committee for cabbies, providing them relevant digital training so they can keep up with technological changes and seize opportunities in the industry.

The training committee will help raise awareness on job opportunities created by technology, gather feedback about current training plans, identify training gaps required to seize those opportunities and facilitate cabbies to attend training, the companies said in a joint media release on Tuesday.

The cabbies, who are self-employed, will be given allowances to offset potential lost earnings when they attend training by the National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC) e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and Comfort.

Comfort will also provide additional support for cabbies who are NTA members.

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The taxi firm has committed to sending 10,000 cabbies for a customised SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace (SFDW) course, which is supported by early partners e2i and NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB).

SFDW is part of a national initiative by SkillsFuture Singapore to help equip Singaporeans with the mindset and basic functional skills to prepare for the future economy.

Initiated by NTA, some 150 taxi leaders have attended the SFDW pilot classes which were conducted by NTUC LHUB. It taught applications such as Parking.sg, e-payments methods and trialled the use of blended learning in the training.

NTUC LHUB and Comfort took feedback from the taxi leaders and updated the course to include learning about Comfort's various taxi apps, Cabby Portal and Mobile Data Terminal. 

Cabbies will be sent for training by batches, and 10,000 of them are expected to complete the SFDW course by 2020.

"e2i will support the training committee to identify gaps of cabbies and recommend relevant training to help them scale the digital learning curve," said Gilbert Tan, CEO of e2i.

"As the cabbies pick up foundational digital skills through the SFDW training to become familiar with common digital touchpoints and acquire digital literacy, the increased confidence and ability to leverage technology will help in enhancing their wages."

Ang Hin Kee, assistant director-general of NTUC and advisor of NTA, said: "It is important that taxi drivers recognise the importance of being updated with practical and useful digital knowledge. We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that the training courses are bite-sized, useful and easy for them to adapt to their work.

"Through the training committee, other training initiatives can be explored and rolled out to help our drivers navigate a rapidly transforming industry."