Shortage of Lift Technicians in Singapore?

More breakdowns, longer down time, more injuries, more deaths. Singaporeans can look forward to more lift "accidents" in the near future. "Industry players" (whatever that fuck means) attribute the dive in lift safety standards to the shortage of lift technicians. To address that the Building and Construction Authority aims to increase the number of lift technicians by 1000, adding to the current 2000 technicians maintaining about 63,000 lifts and 6,000 escalators in Singapore.

Only 1000 BCA? 69,000 lifts and escalators requiring maintenance at least once a month by 3000 technicians. Do the maths. 23 maintenance cases a month per worker, not factoring breakdowns, major servicing, yearly inspection and testing. How many days do you want your technicians to work per week and how many hours a day? That is, if you can even get 1,000 to join the industry. Meanwhile, among the 2000 technicians, how many are going to leave the industry in 5-10 years' time? I say, good luck BCA.

This post was writing 5 years ago. [link] I often write about the future and I will occasionally look back to see how my forecasts went. This post revisits the issue of the deskilling of Singaporeans. It is not intended as a "I told you so" gloat. I am here to highlight the problem. 

"Industry player" Ms Mary Kok, head of Mitsubishi Elevator Singapore's HR and Admin Division said,
“The challenge is basically a demand and supply problem. There are not many people who are interested in our kind of line, in the lift industry. And we're facing competition from the other sectors such as engineering, building services, transportation.”

Look. When demand far outweigh supply, price goes up. Basic economics. When an industry leader is not willing to admit lift technicians are grossly underpaid and talks about interests, you know where the problem lies. The starting salary of an ITE Lift Technician graduate is $1,200 - $1,500 and they are actually wondering why courses are being terminated because there are not enough students taking it up. In this article [link] put up yesterday, they are still citing the same thing:
Industry insiders had earlier given their views on difficulties in attracting talent into the sector, citing a lack of interest in the job.

A lack of interest? Come on. If you cannot even fulfill the physiological and safety needs of your works, why do you talk about interests, visibility, glamour or dreams? I wonder if "Industry player" Mary Kok has ever climbed through the maintenance hatch of a lift and sit there for 5 minutes. Working in confine spaces, with virtually no ventilation under constant high heat in the Singapore weather. Darkness, dust, the smell of urine, the risk of crushing a bone, the risk of falling, the thankless regime being abused by angry lift users who contributed the ammonia infused aroma therapy every single day. Then you wonder why your HR manager asked you during the job interview, "Why do you have interest in this job?"

I wonder does the HR ask the sewage plumber the same thing during his interview and expect this answer, "Oh. I find immense pleasure restoring the internal pressure of pipes by the extraction of clogged human excretion." Ladies and gentlemen, the disciples of Human Resource, hear this. No child dreams to become a lift technician when he grows up. Stop barking at the wrong tree and accept that there are heaps of jobs that are never going to be glamourous, takers know it and do not expect any. They call them dirty jobs for a reason. Show the money and they get done. It is a waste of time convincing the young how noble the job is. Drug trafficking is not glamourous but the jobs get done. Splash the cash. Get it? 

It will not happen as long as SMEs are continually kept out by the barriers of entry and large profit obsessed corporations headed by cronies of the PAP squeezing the livelihood out of their lift technicians. Then they moan about their difficulties to attract the young to enter their exploitation chambers because of the "lack of interest" and urge the MOM to increase foreign workers quota. Meanwhile the continual diluting of skills will see to the drop in work quality.

Oh by the way, if you are young. have a perverse interest of smelling evaporated urine of your Singaporean brothers and sisters and somehow entered the lift maintenance industry, do not despair. Make sure you demand to gain experience in the following job scope from your company:

  • examining blueprints, wiring diagrams and specifications to determine sequences and methods of operation
  • measuring and laying out installation reference points
  • selecting, cutting and connecting wire and cable to terminals and connectors
  • using electrical and electronic test instruments to trace and diagnose faults
  • repairing and replacing faulty wiring and defective parts
  • positioning and installing electrical switchboards
  • connecting electrical systems to power supply
  • testing continuity of circuit
  • installing, testing and adjusting electric and mechanical parts of lifts
as these are the jobscopes of a Lift Mechanic you can nominate yourself as to come to Australia to work. The last time I checked, the occupation is still on the SOL.
Lift Mechanic341113TRA

You shall gain the points this way

Age 25-32 years  ---- 30 points
IELTS (min 7 in all components) ----  10 points
5 years working experience as a lift mechanic ----- 10 points
ITE Cert (Lift technician) ---- 10 points

Total : 60 points.

Go to a migration to sort this shit out if you don't understand. Just remember to stick to my guidelines. Be young, practice your IELTS, work early to chalk up your 5 years experience and make sure you didn't enter a wrong course like ITE Hairdressing to sian Ah Lians.

Follow that faithfully, you will become an Australian PR and be proud of it, because your HR director who spout shit will not be able to qualify.  If you are lucky enough to gain entry to the lift repair industry in Australia, you will be rewarded with a payscale that fairly compensate what you work for.

Good luck

1 comment:

  1. Instead of being a nurse I should have switched to become a lift mechanic instead. More $$$! But then I wouldn't be able to sian chiobu missies or tell people to drop their pants and bend over...!

    Decisions, decisions.