SGD8.88 million committed to training and upskilling Singaporean seafarers

More than 30 seafaring cadets graduated from various Certificate of Competency (Special Limit) Programmes this year. Credit MPA Singapore

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), together with Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) and partner companies, has pledged SGD8.88 million (USD6.5 million) to extend funding for the Certificate of Competency (CoC) Class 5 (Special Limit) programmes until 2021.

The CoC (Special Limit) programmes train Singaporeans to become navigation or engineering officers who serve on board ships operating in the immediate region. With the aim of nurturing a new generation of maritime talent, the SGD8.88 million funding will pay for the training of 90 chief mates and 90 marine engineers.

An official press release issued by MPA Singapore stated that the funding was pledged in recognition of the importance of creating more pathways for Singaporeans to enter and progress within the maritime industry. Therefore, the chief mate and marine engineer programmes will prepare and equip trainees with the necessary competencies to perform ship-handling duties, with the opportunity of securing employment even before their training commences.

The CoC Class 4 (Special Limit) master and chief engineer programmes will also receive extended funding until 2020. This is to support the current pool of chief mates and marine engineers as they improve on their competencies to become qualified masters and chief engineers in the future and thus support the enhancement of upskill opportunities. A liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering course (management and operational level) will also be added to the training syllabus.

There will be additional specialisation courses to provide Singaporean seafarers with the relevant skillsets in the area of their choice. Courses on advanced liquefied gas tanker safety, LNG bunkering, passenger ship safety, and crowd management will be supplemented, meeting the requirements set by the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

The extension of the funding was announced at the 6th graduation ceremony for CoC (Special Limit) programmes, held on 10 April. To-date, more than 250 chief mates and marine engineers have graduated from this programme.

Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of MPA Singapore, said, “The maritime industry is transforming, and having a skilled workforce is key to keeping the maritime industry competitive. We are pleased to continue our partnerships with e2i and participating maritime companies to support the CoC (Special Limit) programmes. With the extended funding, we hope to attract more talent, especially Singaporeans, into the maritime industry.”