A 62-YEAR-OLD cleaner who used to earn $800 a month now takes home $1,600 - double what he used to get.

Mr Johnny Lim's willingness to learn and keep up with the times have paid off.

Last year, the cleaner for more than a decade learnt how to operate a high-pressure washer with support from his company.

It may not have been easy getting used to the new technology at first but he persisted. 'As long as you have the attitude to learn, it won't be hard at all,' he said.

Now, Mr Lim manoeuvres the machine with ease and likens the experience to getting to grips with driving.

He did not just stop there. He also learnt how to operate other machines to clean carpets and scrub floors.

He gives the thumbs up to such devices, saying they reduced the amount of manual labour and made him less tired at the end of the day.

He said: 'In this industry, it's very difficult if you can't use machines. We must also know how to use them so that we can teach new workers how to use them too.'

Mr Lim, who completed Primary 6 studies, has been employed by Weishen Industrial Services for eight years.

The company was yesterday held up by the National Trades Union Congress for providing a progression path for cleaners to learn new skills and command higher pay.

Mr Lim, who works the night shift, begins work on Sentosa at 11pm and ends at 7am, with an hour-long break in between.

'I work because I love my job. Whatever job you do, you need to have passion or you won't enjoy it,' said Mr Lim, whose wife works in a factory. They have one son.

Mr Jimmy Lim, assistant general manager of Weishen, said: 'Johnny is really a role model. He should be proud of himself.'