One-stop service for built environment companies launched: BCA

SINGAPORE – Built environment companies can now submit and process proposals, without having to approach multiple agencies and receive the necessary support, through a new “one-stop” shop launched by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

Individuals who wish to join or progress within the built environment industry can also chart possible career pathways via a new skills framework, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of National Development, Mr Tan Kiat How, announced on Tuesday (Sept 29).

In addition, work has resumed at almost all suspended construction projects, said Mr Tan.

He told participants at the final webinar of the International Built Environment Week 2020 that contractors’ adherence to safe management measures has helped minimise the impact on the progress of construction works, even in cases of Covid-19 clusters re-emerging in workers’ dormitories.

For instance, the segregation of workers on worksites has allowed the Government to quarantine only those in the zones affected by a new Covid-positive case, he said.

He noted that the pandemic has demonstrated how sectors which rely on a large foreign workforce – such as the construction sector – can be vulnerable to such disruptions and need to become more resilient.

“We need to press on with our industry transformation efforts and leverage even more innovative technologies to tackle the challenges and disruptions posed in a Covid-19 environment,” he said.

“Technological innovation will remain a key enabler for companies to navigate the new normal and strengthen their competitiveness.”

Through the new Built Environment Living Laboratory Framework, which functions as a “one-stop” shop, firms will be able to gain access to Government laboratories to test their innovation and receive assistance from agencies to ensure a smooth roll-out.

These proposals can be test-bedded at designated areas with Punggol town and Jurong Lake Garden.

The service is administered by the Built Environment Technology Alliance, or Beta, and is open to all built environment firms and technology solution providers.

A new skills framework, which outlines possible career pathways across or within eight tracks covering 49 job roles, is also available to aid individuals in their career planning.

For example, an engineer can refer to the framework to identify the skills required for career advancement or progress to other job roles within the sector.

Companies can also use it to access the skill levels of their employees and support their career development and skills upgrading where necessary.

Aligned with the Construction Industry Transformation Map, the skills framework was jointly developed by the BCA, SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore, together with input from industry players.

The construction sector is poised to take a $10 billion hit this year, with demand dropping and projects getting pushed back in the wake of the pandemic.

However, BCA said construction demand is expected to recover to some extent from next year as public residential developments, construction of new healthcare facilities and various infrastructure projects such as the construction of the Cross Island MRT line will support demand.

BCA’s chief executive Hugh Lim said: “As part of our industry transformation efforts for the built environment, we have been placing close attention and focus on ensuring good and meaningful jobs for Singaporeans. The skills framework for built environment will support our collective desire to have a skilled and progressive workforce, to support our shared ambitions for the sector.”

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