CLEANERS at the Singapore Swimming Club put down their mops and brooms yesterday and sat down for hours inside a club function room instead.
The 14 workers were not skiving, but learning to do their jobs better at a basic cleaning course certified by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).
During the seven-hour course, they learnt how to use equipment like vacuum cleaners and also picked up tips on how to maintain proper postures to avoid injuries during cleaning.
Trainer Raimi Siraj, a retired SAF warrant officer, put the trainees through their paces individually and pointed out their mistakes.
Over the past few months, cleaning firms have been rushing to send workers for courses like this to meet the minimum requirement for licensing, which is to have half their workers trained.
Besides basic cleaning courses, the WDA also certifies advanced courses in areas including cleaning of toilets, escalators and kitchens.
Yesterday's lesson was held at the club so that the workers can attend class where they work.
Mr Eric Emmanuel Tan, chief operating officer of Singapore's largest cleaning trainer Training Masters, said most classes are held where the cleaners work, so as to minimise disruptions.
One trainee yesterday was Ms Nurul Natasha, 20. She earns about $1,200 as a cleaner at a McDonalds' fast-food outlet to support two siblings, aged nine and 15, and her 41-year-old mother, who is ill.
"With training, I hope to earn more, maybe $1,500, when I get promoted to supervisor," said the soft-spoken woman. "Maybe I can even become a trainer one day."

CLEANERS at the Singapore Swimming Club put down their mops and brooms yesterday and sat down for hours inside a club function room instead.

The 14 workers were not skiving, but learning to do their jobs better at a basic cleaning course certified by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

During the seven-hour course, they learnt how to use equipment like vacuum cleaners and also picked up tips on how to maintain proper postures to avoid injuries during cleaning.

Trainer Raimi Siraj, a retired SAF warrant officer, put the trainees through their paces individually and pointed out their mistakes.

Over the past few months, cleaning firms have been rushing to send workers for courses like this to meet the minimum requirement for licensing, which is to have half their workers trained.

Besides basic cleaning courses, the WDA also certifies advanced courses in areas including cleaning of toilets, escalators and kitchens.

Yesterday's lesson was held at the club so that the workers can attend class where they work.

Mr Eric Emmanuel Tan, chief operating officer of Singapore's largest cleaning trainer Training Masters, said most classes are held where the cleaners work, so as to minimise disruptions.

One trainee yesterday was Ms Nurul Natasha, 20. She earns about $1,200 as a cleaner at a McDonalds' fast-food outlet to support two siblings, aged nine and 15, and her 41-year-old mother, who is ill.

"With training, I hope to earn more, maybe $1,500, when I get promoted to supervisor," said the soft-spoken woman. "Maybe I can even become a trainer one day."