To help mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on businesses and position them for recovery, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) will extend enhanced course fee support under the Enhanced Training Support Package (ETSP) to the marine & offshore sector. This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr Heng Swee Keat in his Ministerial Statement today.
The support package will encourage companies in the sector to take advantage of this downtime to upskill their employees, and position themselves for subsequent recovery and growth.
From 5 October 2020 to 30 June 2021, marine & offshore employers who send their employees for selected sector-specific training programmes will receive enhanced course fee support at 90 per cent of course fees. This is on top of the enhanced absentee payroll that has been extended to all sectors from 1 May 2020.
SSG and EDB will work with appointed training partners to meet the training demand from the sector. For a start, SSG is partnering with the National University of Singapore, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and NTUC LearningHub to offer 38 courses for the sector. These courses will help employees deepen their domain knowledge and skills in areas such as electrical power engineering, liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering, and shipyard safety. The range of training courses also covers emerging skills such as automation and robotics, cyber security and digital transformation.
Mr Ong Tze-Ch’in, Chief Executive of SSG, said: “The current economic slowdown provides an opportunity for companies in affected sectors to reskill and upskill their workforce. I encourage companies to take a long-term view, and to tap on this enhanced training support to build up their workforce competencies for the future economy.”
Mr Chng Kai Fong, Managing Director of EDB, said: “The impact of COVID-19 on the global marine & offshore industry is severe and expected to last for some time. However, there continues to be significant growth opportunities. EDB will partner marine & offshore companies in their transformation efforts, especially in the areas of digitalisation and automation, while preserving jobs and capabilities during this challenging period.”
SSG and EDB have been working closely with stakeholders such as marine & offshore companies, and the Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI) to understand the sector’s training needs, and to put together these measures to upskill the employees and help the sector recover.
Mr Simon Kuik, President of ASMI, said: “Through strong cooperation between the Government and the Association, the Marine & Offshore Engineering community is grateful for the reliefs and grants given till date, to help companies tide over this difficult time and adapt to a new normalcy moving forward. The extension of the enhanced course fee support to the sector comes as a timely support to facilitate the transformation of the industry. Through the reskilling and upskilling of our core talent pool of workers, we hope that they will be more productive through digitalisation and be ready in the new growth areas such as offshore renewable and LNG.”
The ETSP initiative was earlier introduced as part of the Stabilisation and Support Package announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr Heng Swee Keat at the Resilience Budget this year. Effective since 1 March 2020, over 121,000 training places have been taken up under the package. More than 41,000 employees across more than 1,000 enterprises in the targeted sectors have benefited from the initiative.