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Written Reply by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan to Parliamentary Question on Language Assistance for Candidates More Proficient in Own Vernacular Languages for Private Hire Car Driver's Vocational Licence Test

09 Jul 2018 In Parliament

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin asked the Minister for Transport whether language assistance can be arranged for candidates who are more proficient in their respective vernacular languages for the Private Hire Car Driver's Vocational Licence (PDVL) test while retaining a minimum proficiency requirement in the English language.

Reply by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan:

1.     The provision of chauffeured services puts drivers in contact with a wide range of commuters every day. Hence, private hire car (PHC) and taxi drivers must be able to speak simple English to communicate effectively with all commuters – both Singaporeans and tourists. Drivers must also be able to read basic English, so that they can navigate roads and buildings, the names of which are primarily in English.

2.     Nonetheless, we understand that there are Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence (PDVL) applicants who may have language difficulties. If they wish to look for other jobs or transit to other industries, they can approach e2i or Workforce Singapore for employment assistance. For those who would still like to drive PHCs, and who require assistance in preparing for their PDVL tests, they can sign up for remedial classes conducted by the training providers – the Singapore Taxi Academy (STA) andComfortDelGro (CDG) Taxi. Based on feedback, we understand that these have been useful in helping applicants pass their tests. LTA will also work with the training providers to ensure that language assistance is available to applicants who require them.