Singapore Invests Heavily in Maritime Future
The City-Nation of Singapore has invested millions of dollars in infrastructure and reclamation projects in an effort to become a LNG bunkering hub. The port, which is already the largest bunkering port in the world, wants to be a top LNG destination for LNG by 2020.
Singapore’s Maritime Port Authority (MPA) and the Sectoral Tripartite Committee for Transport has earmarked about S$8 million for maritime training programs. The maritime training program will be funded by SkillsFuture, which is a Earn-and-Learn jobs program.
The City-Nation wants to create more than 1,200 new jobs for mariners and port operation personnel. Graduates of the program will receive a sign-on incentive of S$5,000 when they complete the year-long training. And, employers will be eligible for grants of up to S$15,000 per trainee. Singaporeans already working in the maritime industry will also get grants to further their skills.
A monetary award of up to S$2,000, will be offered to candidates who complete shipboard training and become junior deck and engineering officers. Singaporean marine officers, with higher-class certificates, can also receive grants of up to $3,000 to continue their education and upgrade their licenses.
About half of the S$8 million investment will go to the Maritime Singapore Connect Office, a maritime related education and career guidance center, which will be managed by the Singapore Maritime Foundation. The remaining $4 million will go towards subsidies and cash rewards for job candidates.
The Singaporean maritime industry employs more than 170,000 people and accounts for about seven percent of GDP. Since 2007, about S$115 million has been committed to the Maritime Cluster Fund–Manpower Development (MCF-MD) program, which supports maritime companies in the development of manpower, training initiatives and building capabilities.