Singapore Celebrates Day of the Seafarer 2016 & Launches Three SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programmes for the Maritime Sector
To celebrate the ‘Day of Seafarer 2016’, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU) and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) jointly distributed 600 gift hampers to ships that called at our ports today. MPA will also be contributing an annual sum of $150,000 to support the work of various seafarers’ missions to look after the seafarers’ welfare when they call at our shores.
In conjunction with this celebration, Guest-of-Honour, Mrs Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State (SMS), Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Transport, also launched three new SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programmes (ELP) for the Maritime Sector – (Seafaring Deck Officer, Seafaring Marine Engineer and Port Operations Officer).
Jointly developed by MPA, Singapore Workforce Development Agency, Singapore Polytechnic and participating companies, these programmes aim to give fresh graduates from local polytechnics a head-start in their careers, to deepen their skills through facilitated training, in-house structured programmes and mentorship.
As part of the launch event, SMS Teo went on board the Kota Sabas, a container vessel where she interacted with SkillsFuture ELP Trainees, Christina Tan and Muhammad Khalis bin Marzuki. She also visited Pasir Panjang Terminal 5 Control Centre to engage with the trainees undergoing on-the-job training in port controls.
Miss Christina Tan, a Fourth Officer with Pacific International Lines (PIL), is waiting to start her first sea assignment where she will undergo her structured on-the-job training. She said, “My decision to choose a seafaring career was heavily influenced by my sister, who is currently a Third Officer with PIL. With her support and guidance, along with the ELP programme under PIL, I am confident that I will be better prepared for my Certificate of Competency (CoC) Class 2 exams and accelerate my career development.”
Port Operations Officer ELP trainees also expressed confidence in the programme. Neo Boon Hou, Senior Operations Supervisor at PSA said, “The Port Operations and Management ELP programme provides a comprehensive overview of how the different aspects of port operations work together as a whole. I am confident that it can better prepare me for the job of managing container port operations.
This view is shared by Ms Priscilla Choo, a SkillsFuture ELP trainee with Jurong Port. She said, “The Earn and Learn programme is an excellent platform, providing fresh diploma graduates with work opportunities, as well as an extensive study on the Maritime Sector – specifically Port Operations and Management. This programme is truly the epitome of the saying “Learning is a Lifelong Journey”.
“I am heartened by the enthusiasm of the trainees and wish them every success in their respective careers”, said SMS Teo. “The SkillsFuture ELPs also benefit employers as they are able to groom and retain talent suited to their needs,” she added.