Another $65 million for Manpower Development Fund to Boost the Maritime Sector
Another $65 million for Manpower Development Fund
to Boost the Maritime Sector
Two Taskforces to Grow a Strong Core of Local Maritime Talent
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will inject another $65 million to the Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF)-Manpower Development (MD) programme to attract and groom local talent for the maritime sector. This brings the funds invested under this programme since 2007 to $115 million.
The additional funding will be used to introduce new initiatives as well as step up existing efforts.
Growing a Strong Core of Local Maritime Talent
The MCF-MD programme was established in 2002 to facilitate the growth of Singapore's maritime cluster. It focuses on growing a strong Singaporean core by supporting maritime companies in the development of manpower, training initiatives and capabilities. As of 31 December 2014, about 20,000 people have benefitted from the co-funding of training programmes supported by the MCF-MD programme. Details on the co-funding are available at Annex A.
Two Manpower Taskforces Formed
To drive efforts in support of SkillsFuture, MPA has formed two taskforces: (i) the Tripartite Maritime Manpower Taskforce for Seafaring and (ii) the Maritime Manpower Taskforce for Shore-based Sectors, in May and November 2014, respectively. Both taskforces are chaired by Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA.
Tripartite Maritime Manpower Taskforce for Seafaring
The Tripartite Maritime Manpower Taskforce for Seafaring will develop measures to encourage Singaporeans to take up seafaring careers, facilitate up-skilling of Singaporeans, and improve retention of seafaring talent, through training grants and achievement awards. For a start, the taskforce will look into supporting the training of about 180 Singaporeans to graduate with the Certificate of Competencies (CoCs) Class 3 or 5.
One of the schemes that the taskforce has introduced is to present Achievement Awards to candidates for attaining the CoC. This is a monetary award that gives recognition to candidates for completing the rigorous training, which includes gaining practical experience at sea. The taskforce will also encourage employers to train local cadets who are not placed with any employers under the Tripartite Maritime Scholarship (TMSS)and Tripartite Nautical Training Award schemes, by co-funding up to half their training cost.
To complement the efforts of the taskforce, MPA will also enhance the TMSS to provide more opportunities for Singaporeans to take up seafaring careers. Under the enhanced scheme, MPA will set aside an additional $6 million over the next five years to award up to 20 scholarships every year, double the number awarded in previous years. To date, more than 130 scholarships have been awarded.
The Tripartite Maritime Manpower Taskforce for Seafaring comprises members from MPA, the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), the Singapore Shipping Association, the Singapore Maritime Employers Federation, the Singapore Maritime Officers' Union and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen.
Maritime Manpower Taskforce for Shore-based Sectors
The Maritime Manpower Taskforce for Shore-based Sectors will develop strategies to help maritime companies fill positions for critical shore-based jobs. A key area that the taskforce will pursue is the re-skilling of locals for conversion from sea-going to shore-based jobs. The taskforce will also develop a conversion programme to equip non-maritime personnel with relevant skill-sets so they can pursue a maritime career. The taskforce will first focus on jobs in areas such as port operations, ship operations and ship broking.
The Maritime Manpower Taskforce for Shore-based Sectors comprises members from MPA, the Workforce Development Agency, e2i, the National Trades Union Congress, as well as key industry players and industry associations.
Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, said, "MPA is committed to building a strong core of local talent in the maritime industry, which offers diverse career opportunities for Singaporeans in both seafaring and shore-based jobs. The enhancement to the MCF-MD programme not only lends strong support to the national-level SkillsFuture initiative but also allows us to support more skills-based learning, upgrading, and re-skilling for those who want to switch careers. We will be announcing more initiatives on manpower development by the two taskforces in the coming months."
 In accordance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), all seafarers working on board a ship are required to have a valid Certificate of Competency or endorsement from MPA for an equivalent certificate.
 TMSS offers promising students an early step-up in their seafaring career, with the aim of becoming Masters or Chief Engineers of ocean-going merchant ships.
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