SINGAPORE: Workforce training is an important means to ensure Singaporean workers remain relevant and employable, said Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin.
Speaking at a Lunar New Year reception for seafarers on Wednesday, he said the training would also provide a good opportunity for more Singaporeans to embark on a maritime career.
Mr Tan said: “I understand there is a new programme — the result of an ongoing collaboration between Singapore Organisation of Seamen and e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), as well as management partners — to train locals to be able to work aboard ships as cooks.
“Successful trainees will be awarded a Certificate for Culinary Training that can be subsequently upgraded to a diploma course. They would also be qualified to work, if they desire, in the hospitality or F&B industries.”
Mr Tan said the importance of such initiatives cannot be over-emphasised.
He also commended the effort of tripartite partners to support seafarers.
For example, the Singapore Organisation of Seamen provides study grants to its members’ children, while the Seacare Co-operative brings recreational benefits to seafarers.
Mr Tan also said a new Bill passed in Parliament last month, the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) Bill), will strengthen protection of Singapore’s seafarers in terms of employment, health, and working and living conditions.
The passing of the Bill means Singapore has implemented the International Labour Organisation’s Maritime Labour Convention.
The Convention protects seafarers’ rights to decent work conditions while giving ship owners a consistent set of standards to follow.