SINGAPORE: The construction industry hopes that more young Singaporeans will join its ranks as training and prospects improve.
On Thursday (Aug 24), the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the labour movement’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) and the Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees’ Union (BATU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to improve training programmes for workers in the sector.
The MOU brings together union and agency efforts to provide in-depth, sector-focused training programmes for Singaporeans keen on careers in the sector.
Labour chief Chan Chun Sing said many associate the industry with a “harsh environment”, but it has become “very sophisticated”. With the use of technology, projects can be completed much faster and more safely, he added.
“Today, I think many people have the wrong mental model of what the construction industry looks like,” said Mr Chan, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office. “Maybe the mental model is Phua Chu Kang in the yellow boots.”
Mr Chan added that sector partners hope that through this collaboration, more young people will be attracted to the careers the sector offers.
Building and Construction Authority CEO Hugh Lim hopes such collaborations can spur productivity and raise competitiveness in the sector, noting that Singapore is starting on a slower footing than others.
“I can see that in the past few months that Singapore is actually moving very quickly, levelling up, and I would say in the next three years we expect Singapore to be able to take the lead in this sector,” said Mr Lim.
The MOU also gives SMEs greater support to develop deep capabilities in key transformation areas, such as the adoption of Building Information Modelling technologies, and to keep pace with new and best industry practices. It is also aimed at encouraging companies to train their Singaporean workers.
MOU partners will also organise career and education fairs, and offer industry mentoring-related services for students and alumni of the BCA Academy – the education and research arm of the BCA.
The Built Environment sector is among 23 industries the Committee of the Future Economy identified to grow and upgrade.