MPA steps up talent development efforts by partnering with maritime companies, unions and universities

The Singapore Maritime Week 2022 Maritime Workforce Forum brought together government, labor and industry leaders to discuss ways to attract and retain talent and transform workplaces in the maritime sector. The forum highlighted the importance of tripartite partnerships through collaboration between unions, employers and government to advance the transformation and growth of the maritime industry.

During his opening speech at the forum, Mr. Chee Hong Tat, Minister of State for Transport, said, “It is uncertain whether we will achieve the goals of the ITM as we are now operating in global environment more difficult than before. However, we are confident in our strengths and capabilities, as evidenced by the sector’s resilience during the pandemic. Moreover, we have an important catalyst in Singapore which is our strong tripartite partnership between government, industry and trade unions. This is a pillar of strength for Maritime Singapore as we embark on industry, business and workforce transformation.

Mr. Chee also added that maritime workers make an important contribution to a vital industry that underpins Singapore’s survival and prosperity. They play a key role in maintaining global supply chains, and that it was important to attract the right people to join the maritime sector by offering rewarding careers with plenty of opportunities for continuous learning and upgrading skills, both for maritime and land roles.

Strengthen co-funding support for talent to gain international exposure in Southeast Asia

In a global business like shipping, local talent needs to have international exposure in order to take on leadership roles. MPA offers the Overseas Attachment Scheme and the Global Talent Program to encourage companies to offer such opportunities to locals. The programs would allow local talent to gain experience and exposure through structured rotations and overseas secondments. Between 2019 and 2021, 84 local talents went on secondment abroad.

MPA will strengthen co-funding support under the Overseas Attachment Program and the Global Talent Program to increase the focus on Southeast Asia. The amount of support under these programs will be 20% higher for employees sent to ASEAN countries, compared to other places in the world. This means that MPA’s co-funding support for employees sent to ASEAN countries will increase from 50% to 70% for the Overseas Attachment Program and from 70% to 90% for the Global Talent Program.

Launch of the inaugural Maritime Transformation and Innovation Program (MTIP)

At SMW, MPA also launched the first Maritime Transformation and Innovation Program (MTIP), which is a training program to support the key program of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The program focuses on driving innovation and efficiency within the maritime community.

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

Supporting our local sailors – Tripartite Maritime Fellowship and SailMAP

The Tripartite Maritime Fellowship (TMSS) was introduced in 2002 to help build a core community of local seafarers by aiming to attract and encourage locals to take up a career in the sea. The fellowship, sponsored by the MPA, seafarers unions (Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union & Singapore Organization of Seamen) and shipping companies, aims to prepare promising students or recent graduates to become captains of ships or chief engineers of ocean-going merchant ships, with the potential to be the future leaders of the Singapore’s maritime industry. In total, more than 200 participants have received TMSS to date.

TMSS is open to students pursuing the Diploma of Nautical Studies or the Diploma of Marine Engineering at Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA), Singapore Polytechnic (SP). In 2021, 14 Tripartite Maritime Scholarships (TMSS) worth approximately S$1 million have been awarded. Registration for the TMSS is open once a year and interested participants for the next school year can register before April 22 on:

To provide further support to our local sailors, the MPA and its tripartite partners (union and industry) recently launched the Sail Milestone Achievement Program (SailMAP) to provide each sailor with up to $50,000 when they reach milestones keys to his career, including a $10,000 signing bonus when they hire their first vessel as a Class 3 (Deck Officer) or Class 5 (Marine Engineer) Certificate of Competence (CoC) holder .

Incentive payments help support their income when they are not sailing, so they can focus on improving their maritime skills and knowledge during these times.

Second edition of the Maritime Leadership Program (MLP)

The MPA will continue to invest in the preparation of leaders and managers through initiatives such as the Maritime Leadership Program. Launched in 2021 and led by Singapore Management University, the Maritime Leadership Program (MLP) is designed for senior executives across the maritime industry’s extended value chain. This program provides participants with a solid foundation of key maritime concepts, including leadership in maritime and new perspectives on global maritime trends. It also connects participants with renowned maritime leaders through networking opportunities to enable knowledge exchange and facilitate collaboration. 20 senior executives completed the program last year.

The second edition of the MLP is scheduled to take place in the third quarter of this year and is open to maritime management leaders looking to expand their knowledge and develop strong networks in the industry. The upcoming edition features highly engaging delivery formats well suited for executive training and development, as well as interactive sessions with C-Suite executives from maritime organizations.
Source: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore