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The plan will include more advanced technologies such as robotics, augmented and virtual reality as well as blockchain as their commercial applications are more mature.
Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) have refreshed the Environmental Services Industry Digital Plan (ES IDP) to include more digital solutions.
The plan has also been revised to include the pest management sub-sector, in addition to cleaning and waste management.
According to NEA, this will enable the environmental services industry as a whole to look forward to a more employable and resilient workforce by preparing multi-skilled professionals who can move across various sub-sectors.
Businesses can also synergise cleaning, waste management and pest management services to achieve greater efficiency and productivity.
With manpower challenges across the cleaning, waste management and pest management sub-sectors, companies need to constantly improve the way they work and deliver their services, NEA reports.
Demand for and expectations of these environmental services will continue to rise, as evidenced by the Covid-19 pandemic. Transforming the industry to be more productive is therefore critical to ensuring continued delivery of environmental services to provide a clean, liveable and sustainable environment in Singapore.
“The Covid-19 situation has underscored the critical role of the environmental services industry in safeguarding public health, and provided an impetus for companies to improve their operations”
The aim of the refreshed ES IDP is to help small- and medium enterprises (SMEs) address these challenges. Digital solutions incorporating newer and more advanced technologies such as robotics, augmented and virtual reality as well as blockchain have been included.
To ensure that the environmental services workforce is adequately equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to adopt digital solutions, companies can refer to the “digital roadmap on training” in the ES IDP, which includes the type of courses available to equip their employees with the relevant skills and knowledge.
“The Covid-19 situation has underscored the critical role of the environmental services industry in safeguarding public health, and provided an impetus for companies to improve their operations to become more efficient and productive as they experience an increase in demand for their services while facing manpower constraints,” said Dr Amy Khor, senior minister of state for sustainability and the environment.
“For example, the adoption of technologies and digital solutions such as cleaning robots and smart toilet systems has not only led to higher productivity, but also enabled companies to upskill their workforce and enhance jobs.
The refreshed Environmental Services Industry Digital Plan which now includes the pest management sub-sector is yet another milestone in our efforts to transform the environmental services industry.”
Since 2019, NEA said it has worked with partners to develop short courses for members of the ES workforce to learn more about the use of digital technology in environmental services.
The ES IDP launched in 2018 forms part of IMDA’s SMEs Go Digital programme that aims to make going digital simple for SMEs. It includes a three-stage digital roadmap, which charts out the digital solutions that SMEs can adopt at each stage of their growth.
The IDP will be updated over time as the industry progresses and new, more relevant technologies are introduced.
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