MPA inks MOU to develop 'future-ready' seafarers for Singapore's maritime sector

SINGAPORE - Maritime Singapore is ramping up efforts at developing human capital for the seafaring industry.

A tripartite agreement signed on Monday (April 23) aims to help develop a future-ready pool of seafarers and equip them with the skills to cope with trends towards digitalisation and automation in the maritime sector.

​The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) penned the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Singapore Shipping Association and Singapore Maritime Employers Federation, Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU) and Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) at the 3rd Maritime Human Resource (HR) Forum held in conjunction with the Singapore Maritime Week 2018. ​

The MOU calls for collaboration in three areas pertaining to training of seafarers: Identifying new competencies and skills required to operate the next generation of ships; enhancing the current training syllabus; and developing Singapore as a maritime training hub.

Andrew Tan, MPA chief executive, said: "The face of ports, shipping and the maritime industry is changing with the advent of automation, new technologies and business models.

"This MOU reflects a strong commitment by the Government, industry and unions working together to identify the skill gaps, and to train and upskill the maritime workforce for the future economy."

The forum also witnessed the launch of a new Specialist Diploma course in Maritime Superintendency funded by SkillsFuture Singapore.

The new course aims to facilitate the transition of experienced seafarers from "sea to shore", or from work on board ships to onshore jobs with the maritime sector. It will also facilitate mid-career switches to the maritime sector for those who have been working in relevant fields such as mechanical engineering.

The course, which will begin its first intake in October 2018, was developed by a working group comprising representatives from DNV GL, MPA, Marine Engineers, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Maritime Foundation, Singapore Polytechnic, SSA and Society of Naval Architect.

Correction note: The article has been amended to state the MOU was signed by MPA, Singapore Shipping Association, Singapore Maritime Employers Federation, Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union and Singapore Organisation of Seamen. It has also been updated to state that a working group with representation from DNV GL, MPA, Marine Engineers, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Maritime Foundation, Singapore Polytechnic, SSA and Society of Naval Architect developed the new Specialist Diploma course in Maritime Superintendency.