Singapore redesigns maritime jobs to increase attractiveness

The Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) has partnered shipping companies Pacific Carriers Limited (PCL) and Pacific International Lines (PIL) to enhance the attractiveness of maritime jobs through a job redesign pilot.  The job redesign pilot is supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

The project will seek to:

  • Demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of job redesign in maritime to enhance their attractiveness to the talent pool amid a competitive market;
  • Provide analysis and recommendations for future job redesign implementations in the maritime industry across more roles; and
  • Develop a Workforce Transformation Guidebook to support and spur job redesign adoption among maritime companies.

Professional services organization, Ernst & Young Advisory (EY), has been appointed by SMF to advise on the pilot and will bring its job redesign approach and methodology to the roles of a technical superintendent and a vessel operator.

As part of the job redesign pilot, EY will assess ways to enhance workforce productivity and improve talent attraction and retention. In this pilot, the EY team’s expertise and methodology will be supplemented by broader sectoral manpower development efforts under the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map 2025 and the Sea Transport Industry Digital Plan.

The findings and learning from the pilot will be synthesized into a Maritime Workforce Transformation Guidebook, which will serve as a one-stop self-help guide to assist maritime companies embarking on their job redesign efforts.

Tan Beng Tee, Executive Director, Singapore Maritime Foundation, said: “The competition for talent is keen. If the maritime sector wants to continue to draw talent, we must be adaptive. 

“SMF is glad to work with PCL and PIL, with advice from EY, to pilot job redesign in two vital roles — technical superintendent and vessel operator — to make them more attractive to talent in the contemporary job market. This job redesign looks at current work processes and potential changes that may evolve in the near future as the industry embraces digitalization and sustainability.” 

Hor Weng Yew, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Pacific Carriers Limited: “Talent is a fundamental driver for business value creation, and talent development is a shared responsibility between the company and the employees. We come together to align business goals with employee aspirations. 

“PCL is glad to be part of this pilot project and have our employees play an active part in renewing their skills and designing new career pathways for their roles. We look forward to having more maritime companies adopting similar efforts to provide enriching careers for existing and potential talent.” 

Goh Chung Hun, General Manager, Fleet, PIL said, “Attracting the younger generation to pursue a career in the maritime industry is a challenge with competition from other industries, and in particular for operational and seafaring roles. 

“For shipping companies like us, these roles are key and critical to enable our vessels, which transport essential goods around the world, to operate well, safely, and in an environmentally friendly way.  As such, we need to update the narrative that a maritime career is rewarding, and seafaring is just a chapter in the maritime career. 

“There are many exciting career opportunities post-seafaring, such as the job of a Technical Superintendent, whose main responsibility is to ensure that vessels are in good condition. Along this line, PIL is glad to be able to work with SMF on this project to assess EY’s advice to re-design the job of a Technical Superintendent (or Vessel Manager) so that it is a role that is interesting and attractive.”

Photo credit: Shutterstock/ tonkid

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