Singapore steps up maritime talent development efforts 

During his April 8 keynote speech at the Maritime Manpower Forum, Singapore Maritime Week 2022, Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport said maritime workers make important contributions to a vital industry that underpins Singapore’s survival and prosperity.

They play a key role in keeping global supply chains going, and that it was important to attract good people to join the maritime sector by offering rewarding careers with ample opportunities for continuous learning and skills upgrading, for both seafaring and shore-based roles.

The forum emphasized the importance of tripartite partnerships through collaboration amongst unions, employers and the government in advancing transformation and growth in the maritime industry.

Enhancing co-funding support for talents to gain international exposure in Southeast Asia

In a global business like maritime, local talents must have international exposure in order to take on senior leadership roles. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) offers the Overseas Attachment Scheme and Global Talent Program to encourage companies to provide such opportunities for locals. 

The schemes would enable local talents to gain experience and exposure through structured rotations and overseas attachments. Between 2019 and 2021, 84 local talents have gone on overseas attachments.

MPA will enhance the co-funding support under the Overseas Attachment scheme and Global Talent Program for talents to place greater emphasis on Southeast Asia. The quantum of support under these programs will be 20% higher for employees who are sent to ASEAN countries, compared to other locations around the world. 

Launch of inaugural Maritime Transformation & Innovation Program (MTIP)

At the Singapore Maritime Week, MPA also launched the inaugural MTIP, which is a training program to support the key agenda of the International Maritime Organization. The program focuses on driving innovation and efficiency within the maritime community.

Participants will gain insights into transformational strategy and effective change management practices as they exchange ideas with industry practitioners and peers from around the world. The MTIP brought together 20 senior officers in maritime administrations from 15 countries from around the world, to learn and share valuable insights on innovation, transformation, and change management in their organizations.

Supporting local seafarers – Tripartite Maritime Scholarship and SailMAP

The Tripartite Maritime Scholarship (TMSS) was introduced in 2002 to help build up a core group of local mariners by aiming to attract and encourage locals to take up seafaring as a career. A total of more than 200 participants have been awarded the TMSS thus far. In 2021, 14 TMSS worth about S$1 million were awarded. 

To provide more support for local seafarers, MPA and tripartite partners (unions and industry) have recently launched the Sail Milestone Achievement Program (SailMAP) to provide each seafarer with up to $50,000 when they attain key career milestones, including a sign-on bonus of $10,000 when they sign-on their first vessel as a Certificate of Competency (CoC) Class 3 (deck officer) or 5 (marine engineer) holders.

The incentive payments help to support their income when they are not sailing, so that they can focus on upgrading their seafaring skills and knowledge during these periods.

Second edition of the Maritime Leadership Program (MLP)

MPA will continue to invest in grooming leaders and managers through initiatives such as the Maritime Leadership Program.  Launched in 2021 and conducted by Singapore Management University, the MLP is designed for senior management leaders within the extended value chain of the maritime industry.  20 senior management leaders completed the program last year.

Photo credit: iStock/ imtmphoto

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