Isn’t it apt that landscape workers are having their work be recognised in the Garden City known as Singapore? In the most recent announcement on 20 Aug, we learn that landscape maintenance workers aka gardeners, will see their basic wages rise by 6.3% a year on average, over six years. This happens after proposals by a tripartite committee on the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) for the landscape industry was accepted by the Government.
The PWM is a ladder that sets out minimum pay and training requirements for workers at different skill levels. It is part of efforts to ensure that wages of Singapore workers increase along with the skills, productivity and job responsibilities of employees in the sector.
Background to the development of the PWM for Landscape
The Tripartite Cluster for the Landscape (TCL) Industry was formed in 2014 to develop a PWM for the industry. The TCL released their recommendations in April 2015 and these were considered and accepted by the Government. Since 30 June 2016 the PWM has been mandated for the landscape industry. The base wage was at least $1300 for the landscape worker.
The model was reviewed in 2018 to ensure its relevance in uplifting the profession and income of existing resident employees and thereby encouraging them to continue upskill and raise productivity. The review saw a 3% increase in wages from 2023 to 2025.
In January 2021, the TCL recommended enhancements to the PWM Career Ladder by introducing two new job roles, namely Landscape Specialist and Senior Landscape Specialist, to provide an additional progression pathway to attract younger entrants to the sector.
A landscape worker currently earns a base wage of $1,550. This would increase to $1,650 next July. With the latest increases, the same worker’s base wage will rise to $1,750 in 2023 and reach $2,385 in 2028.
Paying more for their service and skills
We probably agree that the landscape workers have been doing a good job maintaining the lush greenery in Singapore. We have many world-famous fixtures – the Gardens by the Bay, Jewel at Changi Airport and the famous stretch of plants lining the road to Changi Airport.
As we appreciate the beauty of these fixtures, we should not forget the expertise that goes into creating them. Hence, we should acknowledge the work that goes into creating and maintaining them. As consumers, we can play a part by paying more for the value that these workers bring.
Uplifting the lives of our essential services workers is always a work in progress. Bringing about a positive change for these workers is possible with the close collaboration and commitment of all stakeholders.
Ensuring sustainability and renewal of the sector
Two new job roles, the landscape specialist and senior landscape specialist job roles, have been introduced. This is to encourage younger Singaporeans and PRs to join the industry. Coupled with the wage increase, the industry hopes to become more attractive to younger people as a potential career. With Singapore’s reputation as the Garden City, there will be many opportunities for new talent to show off their chops!