New apprenticeship scheme for seafaring jobs launched

SINGAPORE - A new apprenticeship scheme for seafaring jobs was launched on Thursday (April 27).

It was developed by the Tripartite Maritime Manpower Taskforce for Seafaring, and aims to raise employability as Singaporeans can pick up vocational skills, while firms and jobseekers find a better job fit before long-term employment.

Under the Maritime Apprenticeship Scheme, jobseekers will be placed on a month-long shipboard work trial with local harbour craft employers.

They will also attend a "three-day foundational maritime training course to assimilate themselves with basic shipboard safety and seamanship", said a joint statement.

Once these are completed, and if candidates are suitable, they can be formally employed to undergo further training and certification to take on jobs as steersmen, engine drivers, tug masters and even ship officers.

The monthly training costs and allowance of up to S$2,600 per trainee for Singapore citizens, and S$1,940 for Singapore permanent residents, are supported by the tripartite partners. They comprise the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) and Workforce Singapore (WSG).

The plan is to train up to 50 candidates in a year, and the first batch is expected to start the familiarisation course by the end of May.