Employing Singaporean Seafarers

Singapore offers a workforce that is diverse, well-educated and adaptable. Such qualities are necessary for a career in the dynamic shipping industry. Therefore, the Singapore government strongly encourages owners and managers of Singapore vessels to make reasonable efforts to attract, place and train Singaporeans on board their ships. Where job positions are available, companies should consider Singaporean officers based on merit, and to train and develop their potential and careers.


Available pool of Singaporean Cadets

There are currently two groups of Singaporean cadets. One group are cadets from Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) pursuing their certificate of competencies (CoCs) under the Diploma in Nautical Studies (DNS) or Diploma in Marine Engineering (DMR). Another group are cadets from Wavelink Maritime Institute (WMI)* pursuing their CoCs under the Tripartite Nautical Training Award (TNTA) or and Tripartite Engineering Training Award (TETA).

Ship-owners can approach SMA and WMI to tap on the pipeline of Singaporean and Singapore permanent resident cadets from Singapore Polytechnic and/or Wavelink Maritime Institute.

*Note: WMI has stopped enrolling cadets since 2022.       

Available Schemes

Singapore recognises the need to train qualified seafaring officers and have put in place a set of schemes to support seafaring careers. 

Sail Milestone Achievement Programme

Click here for more info.

Tripartite Maritime Scholarship

Click here for more info.

SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme

The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP) for Seafarers provides local junior officers, who graduated from their institutes, with a well-structured and quality on-the-job training sea service programme. This better prepares the junior officers for their CoC 2 and CoC 1 qualifications, as well as taking up senior shipboard positions.

Who is eligible


Local graduates from

  • Diploma in Nautical Studies with CoC 3
  • Diploma in Marine Engineering with CoC 5
  • Tripartite Nautical Training Award with CoC 3
  • Tripartite Engineering Training Award with CoC 5


Singapore-based employers who take on graduates from the above programmes.

How much



Up to $5,000 for the successful completion of the programme.



Grants of up to $15,000 per junior officer.

How to apply

Please refer to MPA Shipping Circular No. 10 of 2016 (.pdf, 35 KB) for more information.


MPA administers a number of financial assistance schemes that cover educational grants and long service retirement awards for Singaporean seafarers.  

Educational Grants

The educational grant scheme provides financial assistance to serving registered seafarers to attend relevant courses to upgrade themselves and to improve on their qualifications. The grant comprises the actual course fee together with a subsistence allowance of $300 per month on pro-rated basis for full time courses.

Long Service Retirement Award

In recognition of our seafarers’ long service, registered seafarers who have been sailing for at least 15 years and retire at the age of 60 and above will be given cash awards of $1,000 for (15 to 19 years of service), $2,000 (for 20 to 24 years of service), $3,000 (for 25 to 29 years of service) or $4,000 (for 30 or more years of service).

Special Relief Fund for Seafarers

This fund was set up to provide immediate financial assistance to the dependents of Singaporean seafarers found missing at sea. The fund is necessary because insurers normally adhere to a seven-year waiting period under common law before claims in respect of missing persons are met.
Under the relief scheme, a maximum of 12 monthly cash advances worked out on the basis of the missing seafarer's earnings-prior to his disappearance will be disbursed to his dependants. An advance of up to $2,000 to meet the urgent needs of the family is also given where such need is established. The dependants of a missing seafarer who have been granted financial assistance will have to repay the Authority the money they receive after they obtained compensation from the employer or insurer.

Compassionate Payment

This scheme provides for assistance of up to $1,000 to the next-of-kin in the event of the death of a registered seafarer, to help bereaved families meet urgent and immediate financial needs. It is also provided to registered seafarer who are met with unforeseen hardships such as natural calamities, fire, terminal or serious permanent sickness and accidents.

Singapore Stranded Seafarers Fund (SSSF)

The SSSF was created in July 1999 with an initial sum of $300,000. The fund was created to ensure that crew welfare onboard are being taken care of in the event that employers failed to fulfill their obligations due to bankruptcy or insolvency. It would be used to provide the crew with the necessities e.g. food, water supply and fuel for the ship until the crew has been repatriated or when the dispute is settled. 
The fund is jointly funded and administered by MPA and the Singapore two maritime unions – the Singapore Officers’ Maritime Union (SMOU) and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS).