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BCA wants more locals and women in built environment sector

Improving work environment and enhancing human resource practices some areas the five-year road map will be looking at to bolster the industry.

SINGAPORE: The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has unveiled a five-year rebranding road map to attract and retain local talent, especially female talent, in the built environment sector.

Its roll-out comes at a time of strong domestic construction demand, which has driven the sector’s need for more local talent, said the BCA in a statement on Thursday (May 22).

Formulated by the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the building authority, the road map was announced at the BCA’s annual awards ceremony last night and will be used to help transform the sector. Areas it will look at include improving the work environment, enhancing human resource (HR) practices and generating a greater awareness of career opportunities, the BCA said.

“The locals tend to shun the sector as they might (perceive) the sector as dangerous. The demanding nature, pressure to meet deadlines and long working hours might also be contributing factors,” said Ms Rosana Wong, executive director at Yau Lee Holdings Limited.

Currently, females make up about 25 per cent of the local workforce in the sector. The BCA hopes the road map will help change that and remove stereotypes that the sector is unsuitable for women, which Mr Neo Choon Keong, group director of manpower and strategic policy at BCA, called a relatively untapped source of local manpower.

Under the road map, built environment firms can sign a voluntary pledge to commit to adopting good HR practices, such as enhanced staff benefits. Firms must also create a conducive work environment, especially in the area of pro-family arrangements.

A pilot phase of the new Teachers’ Attachment Programme will also be conducted for Institute of Technical Education lecturers teaching built environment courses this year. The three- to five-day programme to help teachers provide better career guidance to students will also be gradually extended to those teaching at polytechnics and junior colleges.

Campaigns targeting job seekers, students, teachers and parents will be rolled out in the third quarter of this year to raise awareness of the sector and its meaningful careers.

“We realise we cannot attract locals at the worker level. To go for higher productivity and support projects such as green buildings and underground construction, we need a bigger proportion of employees at the PMET (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) level,” said Mr Neo.

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