Retrenched tanker driver charts new career as supply chain executive at logistics firm

Mr Sia Hock Tee started work at Pacific Logistics Group last October. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF MANPOWER

SINGAPORE - For eight years, Mr Sia Hock Tee drove a tanker delivering oil and other dangerous goods, including for a wholesale trading company specialising in petroleum and lubricants.

Last September, he was retrenched when the sector sank during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, the 51-year-old is kickstarting a career in supply chain with local company Pacific Logistics Group (PLG), which chose to take advantage of his years of experience handling dangerous goods.

Mr Sia had applied for a job with PLG as a tanker driver, but impressed the company with his attitude towards learning.

As a result, he was offered a role as a supply chain compliance executive instead, despite not having prior experience in the field.

To help him plug gaps in his skills, the company has enrolled him in a 12-month Professional Conversion Programme for Supply Chain Professionals, which provides him with on-the-job and classroom training.

Mr Sia started work at PLG last October. He did not reveal his income, but said he now earns about 20 per cent more compared with his previous job.

"I'm happy that they gave me this opportunity," said Mr Sia, who is an N-Level graduate.

"Of course, I was scared about having to learn new things, but I told myself that if I didn't give it a try, I would never know if I would succeed," he said.

Mr Kelvin Lim, founder and group managing director of PLG, said the company is looking to build its human resource capital by hiring job seekers with different backgrounds.

For example, the company has hired former bankers and cabin crew, who bring new skillsets to the PLG workforce, said Mr Lim.

"We will not stop looking for people who can bring value and guide our company to be even better," he added.

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