Singapore announces new initiatives to promote maritime careers

Singapore is rolling out new initiatives to promote careers in the maritime sector, with an aim to attract 1,200 locals as seafarers and port operations jobs over the next five years.

The measures were announced on Friday by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Teo Chee Hean, who is also the country’s Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, at the Singapore Shipping Association’s 30th anniversary dinner at Marina Bay Sands.

The initiatives were drawn up by two tripartite committees set-up to promote careers in the maritime sector.

A new body the Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) Office will be formed under the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) to work with schools, employers, government agencies and industry associations. The Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will be investing SGD4m ($2.8m) over four years to set-up the MSC.

The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme will be rolled out by second quarter 2016 and is targeted at Polytechnic students with a year-long work/study arrangement.

Singaporeans already working in the maritime sector will be able to for grants to allow them to further their skills under the SkillsFuture Study Awards, which will open for application in the fourth quarter this year, and SkillsFuture Credit in the first quarter of 2016.

On the seafaring front there will be a cadet allowance reimbursement programme, an achievement award for those completing their course and becoming junior officers, and “Up-skill” allowance scheme to help junior officers upgrade their skills.

“The maritime industry offers many exciting and rewarding opportunities to Singaporeans looking for challenge in their careers. The maritime sector is global in nature and in need of good talent,” commented MPA chief executive Andrew Tan. “MPA is committed to working closely with our industry stakeholders, associations, unions and other government agencies to attract more Singaporeans into both the seafaring and shore-based sectors.” 

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