BCA opens one-stop shop to help built environment firms

They can now submit and process proposals without having to approach various agencies

Built environment companies can now submit and process proposals without having to approach multiple agencies and receive the necessary support through a new "one-stop" shop launched by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

Individuals who wish to join or progress within the built environment industry can also chart possible career pathways via a new skills framework, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office and for National Development Tan Kiat How announced yesterday.

In addition, work has resumed at almost all suspended construction projects, said Mr Tan.

He told participants at the final webinar of the International Built Environment Week 2020 that contractors' adherence to safe management measures has helped minimise the impact on the progress of construction works, even in cases of Covid-19 clusters re-emerging in dormitories.

For instance, the segregation of workers on worksites has allowed the Government to quarantine only those in the zones affected by a new Covid-19 case, he said.

He noted that the pandemic has demonstrated how sectors that rely on a large foreign workforce can be vulnerable to such disruptions.

"We need to press on with our industry transformation efforts and leverage even more innovative technologies to tackle the challenges and disruptions posed in a Covid-19 environment," he said.

Through the new Built Environment Living Laboratory Framework, which functions as a "one-stop" shop, firms will be able to gain access to Government laboratories to test their innovations and receive assistance from agencies to ensure a smooth roll-out.

These proposals can be test-bedded at designated areas in Punggol town and Jurong Lake Garden.

The service is administered by the Built Environment Technology Alliance, or Beta, and is open to all built environment firms and technology solution providers.

A new skills framework, which outlines possible career paths across or within eight tracks covering 49 job roles, is also available to aid individuals in their career planning.

 
 

Companies can also use it to assess the skill levels of their employees and support their career development and skills upgrading where necessary.

Aligned with the Construction Industry Transformation Map, the skills framework was jointly developed by the BCA, SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore, with input from industry players.

The construction sector is poised to take a $10 billion hit this year, with demand dropping and projects getting pushed back in the wake of the pandemic.

 
 

However, the BCA said construction demand is expected to recover to some extent from next year as public residential developments and various infrastructure projects, like the construction of the Cross Island MRT line, will support demand.

BCA chief executive Hugh Lim said: "The skills framework for built environment will support our collective desire to have a skilled and progressive workforce, to support our shared ambitions for the sector."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2020, with the headline 'BCA opens one-stop shop to help built environment firms'. Subscribe