1,000 traineeships, attachments on offer in growing maritime sector

Skills can benefit trainees even in other sectors: Chee Hong Tat

There will be a total of 1,000 training slots, company attachments as well as traineeship opportunities offered in the maritime sector to Singaporeans and permanent residents in the coming months.

They will be in areas such as automation systems, digital transformation, shipping operations and maritime superintendency.

Speaking at the 10th Singapore Maritime Institute Forum yesterday, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Foreign Affairs Chee Hong Tat said the openings reflect skills in demand in the industry, adding that these skills can benefit trainees if they later decide to join other sectors.

"Our maritime sector is not only resilient, it is actually growing from strength to strength during this pandemic. This is the challenge we have set for ourselves... how to grow Maritime Singapore and create more good jobs," said Mr Chee.

"Besides creating new jobs, we must also help our people to develop the skills to take on these jobs."

In August, the Government said there were 200 openings in the sector. Yesterday, Mr Chee announced an additional 800 places.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is partnering SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), Workforce Singapore, the Singapore Shipping Association, maritime companies and institutes of higher learning to provide the opportunities under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Initiative, the organisations said in a joint statement.

MPA and SSG are also collaborating with some institutes of higher learning and maritime players on training opportunities through the SGUnited Skills Programme and SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways - Company Training Programme.

Yesterday's forum, held at the National University of Singapore, focused on the future of port and shipping.

In his speech, Mr Chee said Covid-19 has greatly disrupted many sectors globally and changed people's way of life. However, Singapore's maritime sector has remained resilient.

He added: "As supply chains shift and become more complex, due to Covid-19 and other global developments, we must be ready to adapt and remain relevant."

Among other things, the sector must embrace digitalisation, which is fundamentally changing business models and processes across different sectors, said Mr Chee, who also emphasised the importance of global collaboration in the sector in areas such as automation.

He added that the pursuit of decarbonisation will change the face of maritime, such as the type of marine fuel used, the design of vessels, and how port infrastructure and operations are organised.

Mr Chee noted that Singapore, as the world's largest transshipment hub and a major maritime centre, will do its part in the fight against climate change by supporting the International Maritime Organisation's emissions targets.

"We do not believe that being a place that is 'business friendly' is at odds with being 'environmentally friendly'," he said.

He added that the Government will also provide a regulatory environment that supports business and innovation.

"When we succeed in attaining sustainable growth, we can also achieve other important outcomes like creating good jobs for our workers and putting in place industry practices that protect the environment."

At the event, Mr Chee also launched two research and development initiatives by the Centre of Excellence in Modelling and Simulation for Next Generation Ports, to create digital models of ports for port authorities and operators to test solutions for different operating scenarios.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2020, with the headline 1,000 traineeships, attachments on offer in growing maritime sector. Subscribe