300 spots in conversion programme for mid-career switch in maritime sector

SINGAPORE – Up to 300 individuals can tap an enhanced career conversion programme for a mid-career switch to the maritime sector, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Chee Hong Tat on Saturday (Nov 13).

The enhanced programme aims to skill-up those who are keen to take up job roles such as port operations manager, shipping analyst, assistant technical superintendent and ship agent.

Speaking at the Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) Maritime Digital Challenge grand finals event on Saturday, Mr Chee said there are job opportunities in the maritime sector for mid-career individuals who bring “useful skills and knowledge from other industries”.

“(The expanded programme) will equip mid-career switchers and existing maritime employees who are taking on different roles with new competencies in areas such as automation, data analytics, decarbonisation, and cybersecurity,” said Mr Chee.

The enhanced Career Conversion Programme for Sea Transport Professionals and Associates is rolled out by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

It comes on the back of a previous programme for Sea Transport Professionals and for Port Professionals, which benefited over 160 individuals in the past three years.

The enhanced programme includes a new job redesign and reskilling pathway, a specialist maritime superintendency track, and an expansion to includesea transport associates, said WSG and MPA in a joint release on Saturday.

To build up a local talent pipeline of maritime superintendents, WSG and MPA will pilot 20 placements under the new specialisation track.

Such officers oversees ships’ compliance with regulatory requirements and are in charge of ground-level crew management, while assistant technical superintendents manage ships’ including ship’s expenditures and ensure their seaworthiness.

Individuals on this track will be awarded a specialist diploma in maritime superintendency by Singapore Polytechnic after they complete six modules and on-the-job training.

Hiring outlook for the maritime sector remains positive despite Covid-19, with job postings in the MyCareersFuture portal up from 1,300 listings in January this year to about 1,770 listings in September, noted WSG and MPA.

Among those who made a successful career switch is Mr Fok Jin Jin, a 39 -year-old senior LNG bunkering technician at FueLNG, a company that provides liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker, highlighted by Mr Chee in his speech.

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Mr Fok was formerly an operation technician at a petroleum company and had no previous experience in handling LNG, but wanted to make a switch as he believes LNG is a growing sector with ample career opportunities.

He participated in the Career Conversion Programme for Sea Transport Professionals November 2019.

“Due to the structured process and on-job training provided, I found the learning curve acceptable,” said Mr Fok.

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