The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is partnering SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), Workforce Singapore (WSG), the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), maritime companies and institutes of higher learning (IHLs), to provide 1000 traineeships, company attachments and training opportunities for Singapore citizens and permanent residents under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Initiative that will support the transformation of the maritime sector. These opportunities are in the industry’s new growth areas such as automation, digitalisation and supply chain integration. This was announced by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Foreign Affairs, at the Singapore Maritime Institute’s SMI Forum 2020 themed “Future of Port and Shipping” today.
MPA and SSG are collaborating with IHLs such as the Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore Management University, National University of Singapore, and with the support of companies including PSA, DNV GL and American Bureau of Shipping, on training opportunities through the SGUnited Skills Programme and SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways – Company Training Programme. These opportunities will be progressively available in the coming months to equip trainees with skills such as automation systems and digital transformation, as well as maritime-specific skillsets such as shipping operations and maritime superintendency.
These courses are being developed in consultation with industry stakeholders including companies in the port, shipping and maritime services sub-sectors, as well as SSA to meet the industry’s longer-term manpower needs.
Mr Chee also announced the reappointment of Mr Wong Weng Sun as the Chairman of SMI Board and Governing Council for a new term of two years commencing on 1 January 2021. Under Mr Wong’s leadership, SMI launched the refreshed Singapore Maritime R&D Roadmap in 2019, outlining five strategic thrusts to sharpen Singapore’s competitive edge and capitalise on new opportunities for greater value creation and capture.
Mr Chee said, “Our maritime sector is not only resilient, it is growing from strength to strength. This is the challenge we have set for ourselves – how to grow Maritime Singapore and create more good jobs for Singaporeans. Besides creating new jobs, we must also help our people to develop the skills to take on these jobs in the maritime sector which welcomes people from different backgrounds and age groups. The 1,000 opportunities will be for in-demand skills in the industry and can benefit the trainees if they subsequently join other sectors. This is the result of close partnerships between the public sector, industry associations, industry partners, and institutes of higher learning.”
Ms Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “The pandemic has tested the resiliency of many industries and businesses. Amidst this pandemic, beyond normal operations, we continue to push ahead with digitalisation and automation. With Maritime Singapore’s industry transformation, talent attraction and retention are key in this endeavour. Singaporeans can look forward to benefit from exciting and rewarding careers in the maritime industry.”
Mr Ong Tze-Ch’in, Chief Executive of SSG, said, “The acceleration in the use of digital technologies has impacted traditional maritime jobs, and the skills needed by workers in the industry. The SGUnited Skills and SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programmes are designed to provide job-seeking Singaporeans with the relevant knowledge and skills to access jobs in the sector. SkillsFuture Singapore is glad to have the maritime industry come on board these programmes.”
Mr Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive of WSG said, “As many businesses across sectors, including the maritime industry, tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic, WSG remains steadfast in helping our local workforce. Making available these traineeships opportunities will provide an avenue for mid-career individuals to take on career opportunities through company attachments for a career in Maritime. We will continue to work with MPA and stakeholders to build a resilient and robust talent pool which will help to strengthen core capabilities of businesses to prepare for eventual economic recovery.”
Ms Caroline Yang, President of SSA, said, “While the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in uncertainties and significant impact to businesses and individuals, it has also accentuated the need for companies and workers to retool and reskill their capabilities to meet the transmuting global shipping industry. We are heartened that SSA members are offering attachments to help displaced workers develop digitalisation skills for the transformative business demands of our sector. We hope more SSA members and the wider maritime community will participate in these traineeship programmes, to better equip ourselves to seize new opportunities when the economy upswings.”
More information on the SGUnited Skills programmes is available at:
 Company hosted traineeships and attachments are available through the SGUnited Traineeship Programme and SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme – Company Attachments for fresh and recent graduates, as well as mid-career individuals to develop industry-relevant skills and experience in the port and shipping sectors. More information on is available at https://www.wsg.gov.sg/SGUnitedTraineeships-Trainees.html and https://www.wsg.gov.sg/programmes-and-initiatives/SGUnitedMidCareerPathways-Trainees.html