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Environmental Services (ES) Star Awards Launched To Appreciate Workers

07 Dec 2019

Skills Framework for Environmental Services refreshed to include pest management workforce, providing more opportunities for cross deployment across the ES workforce  

Singapore, 7 December 2019 – The inaugural Environmental Services (ES) Star Awards was launched today by President Halimah Yacob at the ES Workforce Day held at the Istana. As a key initiative within the [1] Environmental Services Industry Transformation Map (ES ITM), the ES Star Awards recognises the top employees in the ES industry across the three sectors – cleaning services, waste management, and pest management – in three categories (frontline, supervisory, and backend). In addition to the 27 individuals who received the ES Star Awards, another 268 individuals from 45 companies also received congratulatory certificates. (Refer to Annex A for more information on ES Workforce Day and the ES Star Awards.) The first ES Workforce Day was launched in November 2018 to celebrate the commitment and excellence of ES companies and employees.

Refresh of Skills Framework for Environmental Services (ES)

2          The National Environment Agency (NEA), SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) also refreshed the Skills Framework for ES, to include key information on the pest management sector, career pathways, occupations and job roles as well as their current and emerging skills. It provides a list of training programmes available for workers in the sector to acquire new skills or upgrade existing skills. Some of the courses include the joint ITE-NEA Certificate on Pest Management and Pest Control offered at ITE (Central), and the Fundamental Course on Vector Management Control offered at Singapore Polytechnic.

3          The inclusion of the pest management sector under the ES ITM was announced at the Singapore Urban Pest Management Forum in April this year. The refreshed Skills Framework for ES includes key information on the pest management sector as well as the cleaning and waste management sectors. This information includes potential pathways within and across the three sectors.

4          For example, with relevant training and required skills, general cleaners can become pest control workers. Professionals at executive and managerial positions can also look at the job roles within the six tracks, and plan and undertake relevant skills development for greater career mobility. ES companies can refer to the Skills Framework to plan their manpower capability needs as part of their business strategy to reap greater efficiency, productivity and growth through synergising of their cleaning, waste management and pest management services. The updated Skills Framework is expected to now benefit more than 340 organisations and more than 3,100 professionals in the pest management sector providing vector control services. (Refer to Annex B for more information on the Skills Framework for Environmental Services.)

Updates on ES ITM Projects

5          To enable the ES workforce to be ready for business transformation, NEA works closely with partner agencies and key stakeholders in the industry to prepare the workforce to take on higher value-added jobs. This is done through redesigning jobs and upskilling the workers to equip them with the skills needed to operate technology. One platform to facilitate this transformation is through initiatives such as the [2] INCUBATE programme, which now has 20 partners on board. The newest partners are Pan Pacific Hotels Group and Keppel Land.

6          Contrary to the perception that technology will displace workers from their jobs, it will instead make work easier, safer and smarter for them. For example, one of the INCUBATE partners, Changi Airport Group (CAG), embarked on a ‘Smart and Easy-to-Clean’ toilet project, which aims to transform toilet cleaning at the airport through technology, to reduce routine and repetitive tasks in cleaning. In this case, instead of having the cleaners check the stock of toilet consumables at fixed intervals, a suite of sensors will prompt the cleaners to replenish the consumables when they are running low. This facilitates a shift from frequency-based cleaning to on-demand cleaning, improving the work environment for the cleaners performing their day-to-day tasks. There is also a fall detection system to alert the cleaners and supervisors to any falls in the toilet. The project has recently commenced at Terminal 4 for a one-year trial to test the effectiveness of the solutions. (Refer to Annex C for more information on the project.)

7          Other innovation projects that aim to help improve the work environment for the workforce include the upcoming proof-of-concept (POC) trials that will commence in early 2020. These POC trials are:

  • A self-cleaning toilet cubicle at Geylang Serai Hawker Centre, for a period of three months;
  • Use of assistive technology by Public Waste Collectors (PWCs) (i.e. SembWaste and Veolia), for a period of two months; and
  • An autonomous robot sweeper integrated with security features at Heartbeat@Bedok, for a period of one year.

8          The self-cleaning toilet cubicle project aims to give the toilet cleaners more time to perform other tasks such as replenishing the consumables and touch-up or spot cleaning, whereas the assistive technology for PWCs will ease the waste collection crew’s burden in pushing the heavy-laden waste bins from the disposal points to the waste trucks. Lastly, the autonomous robot sweeper integrated with security features, which is an integrated Built Environment solution, will ease the operations of workers in both the cleaning and security operations using a single equipment within their premises. (Refer to Annex C for more information on the projects.)

9          Mr Dalson Chung, Director of Industry Development and Promotion at NEA, said, “Since the launch of the ES ITM two years ago, NEA has worked with partner agencies and the industry to launch many initiatives to drive innovation and widespread technology adoption, upskill the workforce, and improve productivity through better procurement practices. Such progress was made possible through intensive and continuous efforts among the various stakeholders. While making the jobs of the current ES workforce easier, smarter and safer, we also work with the Institutes of Higher Learning to raise awareness on the ES industry to attract a younger workforce. We will continue to build stronger businesses and create better jobs for the ES industry.”

10        The collective efforts of the Government, union, trade associations and the industry help to keep the ES industry competitive and attractive. Businesses, including service providers, technology providers and service buyers, can look forward to opportunities for technology collaboration, adaptation, and optimisation in the allocation of resources through the use of innovative solutions and data analytics. The workforce can also look forward to better jobs, as the use of technology and automation will help to reduce routine and laborious tasks, allowing them to focus on other areas of work such as operating machinery or smart systems to enable better service delivery. The ES ITM strategies and initiatives will ensure a vibrant, sustainable and professional industry that will help move Singapore towards achieving our vision of becoming a Zero Waste Nation.

[1] The Environmental Services Industry Transformation Map (ES ITM) was launched in December 2017, which unveiled various strategies and initiatives to transform the ES industry.

[2] INnovating and CUrating Better Automation and Technologies for Environmental Services (INCUBATE) is a key initiative under the Environmental Services Industry Transformation Map. It embodies the partnership between the technology providers and services providers, premises owners, and the Government, to collectively innovate and curate better technologies, solutions and innovations for the environmental services industry.

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Environmental Services (ES) Workforce Day

About ES Workforce Day           

1          The ES Workforce Day is organised to celebrate the commitment and excellence of ES companies and employees, and is supported by the Environmental Management Association of Singapore (EMAS), Waste Management & Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS), Singapore Pest Management Association (SPMA), and National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). The event is also an occasion to profile the diversity of jobs and career progression opportunities within the ES industry.

About ES Star Awards

2          The ES Star Awards is a top tier award to recognise exemplary ES employees across the three sectors (cleaning services, waste management, and pest management) in three categories (frontline, supervisory, and backend).

3          Recipients of the ES Star Awards included a mix of profiles such as customer-facing executives and support roles. They were nominated by their employers based on the following criteria:

i. Service Excellence

    • Nominee has shown commitment towards achieving service quality.
    • Nominee has sustained excellence job performance.

ii. Leadership (Applicable for (i) Supervisory/Team Lead and (ii) Backend support nominations only)

    • Nominee has motivated the team to strive towards better service and efficiency.
    • Nominee is considered a role model by fellow colleagues.

iii. Upgrading/Training

    • Nominee has upskilled throughout the years and promoted through the ranks.
    • Nominee attends training sessions or courses regularly to attain new knowledge and upgrade.

iv. Received Compliments or Awards

    • Nominee has received compliments from public as well as company staff.
    • Nominee has received awards previously.

v. Innovation

    • Nominee has demonstrated the use of creative and innovative methods to improve service quality, staff welfare, etc.

vi. Contributing to environment sustainability

    • Nominee has shown commitment and efforts towards caring for the environment within/outside of his/her work (e.g. using non-disposables, recycling, etc. as well as encouraging people to adopt similar practices).

Congratulatory Certificates

4          Congratulatory certificates were also given out to another 268 employees of 45 companies in recognition of their outstanding contribution and commitment. Some of these companies include Campaign Complete Solutions, Duyen Cleaning Services, UEMS Solutions, Elite Pest Management, ProServ Pest Pte Ltd, Impetus Conceptus Pte Ltd, LHT Holdings, Natsteel, and Wah & Hua Pte Ltd, and more. Recipients of these congratulatory certificates include those who had been promoted or received Long Service Awards from their employers (i.e. in service for at least five years with a positive mind-set and willingness to upskill and receive training).

ES Star Award Winners

Cleaning Sector

Award Category



Frontline Category
(1st Place)

Mr Low Kum Chuen, 80 years old

Cleaner, Veolia ES Singapore Industrial Pte Ltd


  • In service for five years.
  • Lauded for his hardworking attitude, this attribute was reinforced by a recent compliment from a member of the public for bracing the hot weather to keep the park clean. His area of work is located in Ang Mo Kio Garden West.
  • Uses reusable canvas bags instead of plastic trash bags to contain the dried leaves.
  • Constantly helps newcomers to ease into the job by zoning the area into varying levels of priorities, so that the work area appears less daunting.
  • Upskilled in August this year in Public Hygiene Maintenance.

Frontline Category
(2nd Place)

Mr Ho Chai Kwang, 62 years old

Cleaner, Veolia ES Singapore Industrial Pte Ltd


  • In service for 13 years.
  • Received Veolia’s Best Cleaner Award for the 2nd quarter of 2018.
  • Demonstrated ownership of the areas allocated to him by providing timely information to Supervisor needed for planning of resources.
  • Demonstrated flexibility in adapting to ground situation – for example, he anticipated that certain zones allocated to him would be crowded by peak hour human traffic in the morning, which would make it difficult for him to operate the mini-sweeper. He therefore requested for a tricycle for the morning work, before switching to the mini-sweeper in the afternoon.

Supervisory Category
(1st Place)

Ms Rahmatunnisha Bti Mohamed Abdul Karim, 52 Years old

Supervisor, Horsburgh Integrated Services Pte Ltd


  • In service for eight years.
  • Award winner of the SkillsFuture Fellowship 2018.
  • Started out as a hygiene executive, and rose through the ranks to become a Hygiene Supervisor and Specialist with Horsburgh in 2011.
  • Completed over 10 WSQ Environmental Cleaning and WSQ Leadership and People Management Level 4 Diploma courses.


Waste Management Sector

Award Category



Frontline Category
(1st Place)

Mr Ramsiran Gwala S/O Badai Guala, 56 years old

Driver, SembWaste Pte Ltd

  • In service for 8.5 years.
  • Goes the extra mile to ensure the effective collection of waste by segregating the collection timings and optimising the coordination of resources.
  • Always greets members of the public and residents have complimented him for his excellent service and attitude.
  • Readily mentors new drivers and crewmembers.
  • Upskilled this year in B-Tech Driver Simulator Training.

Frontline Category
(2nd Place)

Mr Won Wai Leong, 57 years old

Senior Driver, SembWaste Pte Ltd

  • In service for 18 years.
  • Previously selected to operate and drive a Pneumatic Suction truck in 2018, which required him to learn how to operate the newer technology.
  • Upskilled this year in B-Tech Driver Simulator Training.

Supervisory Category
(1st Place)

Mr Cheng Jinhao Benny, 35 years old

Business Development Manager, Metalo International Pte Ltd

  • In service for one year.
  • Part of the team that enabled the company to receive a Certificate of Partnership for E-waste Recycling from NEA, and obtain the Certification in ISO27001 for Information Security.
  • Active in engaging the public and community on proper disposal and 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) through recycling events with schools and Residents’ Committees.

Backend Category
(1st Place)

Ms Regina Cheah Huay Sian, 29 years old

Senior Executive, SembWaste Pte Ltd


  • In service for four years.
  • Conducts talks for schools and companies to raise awareness on 3Rs and proper waste management.
  • Passionate about sustainability initiatives and focuses on internal communications within the company through newsletters, to ensure that the drivers and crew are also kept up to date on the company’s latest happenings.
  • Actively involved in producing educational videos to reach out to members on the public on proper waste management.

Backend Category
(2nd Place)

Ms Begum Nor Faiqah D/O Muhammad Afiq Abdullah, 30 years old

Operations Deployment Executive, Impetus Conceptus Pte Ltd

  • In service for six years.
  • Received the company’s ‘Best Staff’ award for two years.
  • Instrumental in introducing technology-based deployment in the company, and e-organising the deployment system and procedures.

Pest Management Sector

Award Category



Frontline Category
(3rd Place)

Mr Wong Lay Weng, 62 years old

Service Technician, Ikari Services, Pte Ltd

  • In service for over 38 years.
  • Continuously keeps himself updated with new products, methods, technology and treatment.
  • Takes the initiative to mentor newer technicians and dispel clients’ common misunderstanding that green products are less effective.

Supervisory Category
(3rd Place)

Mr Raship Bin Othman, 60 years old

Technical Director, Vcare Pest Management Pte Ltd


  • In service for over 40 years.
  • Helped to train many pest management professionals (including technicians, supervisors and managers)
  • Continuously learns how to use new fogging equipment, sprayers, terminate detectors, as well as email and software systems.
  • An effective supervisor who imparts his knowledge to his subordinates, and goes the extra mile to help his staff.

Backend Category
(3rd Place)


Mr Muhammad Nazmi Bin Osman, 39 years Old

Senior Service Supervisor, Aardwolf Pestkare Pte Ltd




  • In service for 10 years.
  • Started off as a Service Technician, and worked his way up to a Senior Service Supervisor.
  • Led a team of nine service technicians to win the company’s Best Service Team for three years (2016, 2017, 2018).
  • A key trainer in this company, he is also an active learner who attends many upgrading/training sessions such as the Wildlife Handling by SPMA, and Pest management seminars in Singapore and abroad.


Skills Framework for Environmental Services (ES)

Launched in Dec 2017, the Skills Framework for ES was jointly developed by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), Workforce Singapore (WSG) and NEA in close consultation with employers, industry associations, unions, and education and training institutions, in support of the Jobs and Skills pillar in the ES ITM. It aims to enable skills mastery in the ES industry. 

2          Updated recently in December 2019, the framework comprises six career pathways holding 24 job roles identified across the cleaning, waste management and pest management sectors. The six tracks are (i) Cleaning Operations; (ii) Waste Collection; (iii) Material Recovery; (iv) Treatment and Disposal; (v) Environment, Health and Safety and (vi) Pest Management.

3          The refreshed Skills Framework for ES has a total of 51 current and emerging technical skills and competencies and 18 generic skills and competencies. The framework is a reference for individuals who wish to upgrade their skills and prepare themselves for jobs in the environmental services industry, and for employers to recognise skills and train their employees as part of their career and skills development. The framework also serves as a guide for education and training providers to design new programmes and review existing ones to address the industry’s manpower development needs.

4            The key trends and emerging skills identified for the ES industry are:

Key Trends

Emerging Skills

Leveraging technology

Improve business operational efficiency through the adoption of technology.

  • Automation Research and Implementation
  • Internet of Things Management
  • Robotics and Automation Application
  • Pest Control Detection and Monitoring Application (NEW)

Predictive Analytics

Cultivate an innovative and manpower-lean format to achieve operational efficiencies.

  • Data and Statistical Analytics
  • Process Improvement and Optimisation
  • Knowledge Management
  • Pest Control Site Assessment and Analysis (NEW)

Advisory Services

Strengthen human resource capabilities to build a quality workforce and provide quality services.

  • Data and Statistical Analysis
  • Pest Behavioural Management (NEW)
  • Pest Control Site Assessment and Analysis (NEW)


5           Since its implementation in 2017, SSG conducted workshops to reach out to companies, professionals and training providers on the Skills Framework for Environmental Services. SSG also worked with other agencies, associations, unions and WSG to engage companies and individuals in the Environmental Services industry through events and company visits to tap on the framework.

6           The refreshed Skills Framework is available at

            ANNEX C

Updates on ES ITM Projects

About the Smart and Easy-to-Clean Toilet Projects

  • Although there are different types of technologies available in the market today that aim to improve the productivity of toilet cleaning, the solutions deployed individually have specific functions and have limited impact on the overall effectiveness in improving toilet cleaning productivity. A holistic suite of solutions that cover design planning, operations and maintenance will enable a more efficient and effective way of toilet cleaning, and help to enhance the user experience.
  • Resulting from a joint Enterprise Singapore-NEA innovation call with INCUBATE partners, Changi Airport Group (CAG) embarked on a ‘Smart and Easy-to-Clean’ toilet project. The project aims to transform toilet cleaning at the airport through technology, to reduce routine and repetitive cleaning tasks.
  • A consortium led by Vinda Group was awarded the project to provide smart toilet solutions to CAG:
    • Combination of solutions such as people counters, energy and water monitoring devices;
    • Sensors to provide real-time information on visitor traffic and alert cleaners to replenish the consumables in the toilet, to aid cleaning on-demand, potentially resulting in increased productivity;
    • A fall detection system to alert the cleaners and supervisors to any falls in the toilet, to enable prompt assistance;
    • Installation of an ozone water generator in the toilet for flushing, as well as the washing of common areas. As ozone water has cleansing and sterilising properties, it simplifies the cleaners’ work processes, reduces the time required for toilet cleaning and makes cleaning more environmentally-friendly, since chemicals are not required.

About the Self-Cleaning Toilet Project

  • Red Dot Robotics Pte Ltd was awarded based on their proposal for the self-cleaning toilet cubicle solution. Their solution involves pre-setting, to control the cleaning frequencies of three main features within the toilet cubicle (i.e. toilet bowl, walls and floor), which means that the technology is able to automatically clean the cubicle at scheduled intervals. As a result, this gives the cleaners’ more time to perform other tasks such as replenishing the consumables and touch-up or spot cleaning.
  • This self-cleaning toilet cubicle project serves to automate some of the least desirable tasks expected of cleaners. It is also a step forward in NEA’s efforts to transform the toilet cleaning process from the current frequency-based, labour-intensive, and undesirable one into one which is on-demand with minimal human intervention enabled by the use of smart technologies.
  • For more information on this project, refer to

About the Assistive Technology for PWC Crew

  • Meisterform Pte Ltd was awarded to develop an assistive motor-driven device to reduce the physical strain of the PWC crew and increase productivity with the enhanced ease of operations. The assistive technology eases the waste collection crew’s burden in pushing the heavy-laden waste bins from the disposal points to the waste trucks. The company will be working with Partico Design Pte. Ltd. to design, develop and build the initial prototype. A proof-of-concept trial of this solution will take place at sites identified by the PWCs Veolia and SembWaste over a period of two months. These trial sites will be at areas around trade premises, where there are challenging terrains and heavy bins.
  • For more information on this project, refer to

About the Autonomous Sweeper Project

  • Gaussian Robotics had developed the ECOBOT Sweep 40, in response to an open innovation call for an integrated autonomous sweeper with surveillance functions by NEA and INCUBATE partner, People’s Association, with the support of Enterprise Singapore.
  • The equipment is an autonomous cleaning machine with security surveillance features, which pushes the boundaries and integration of productivity in the facilities management sector by helping to keep a site secure while keeping the premises clean.
  • The equipment can be used for both hard floor sweeping and carpet vacuuming, with add-ons such as carpet shampooing as a future development. Together, these features address an urgent need in the facilities management sector to complement autonomous scrubbing operations.
  • There will be a proof-of-concept trial at Heartbeat@Bedok, which will be carried out over a period of one year.

Pictorial representation of Sweep 40















Pictorial representation of Sweep 40 (Credit to Gaussian Robotics).