Tertiary students from the maritime and engineering disciplines had the chance to hear exclusive insights from industry experts, on the career prospects of six vocations from the port and shipping sectors, at the inaugural MSC Career Workshop at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre on 5 August 2016, a half-day event where about 140 maritime professionals and students attended.
A total of nine companies from the maritime industry were present to share with students from Singapore Polytechnic (SP), Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU), about the six careers that have been identified to be aligned with SkillsFuture, by the Maritime Manpower Taskforce for Shore-based Sectors formed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore1 (MPA). About 40% of the students were from engineering courses, while the rest came from maritime-related studies.
The six roles that were featured in the workshop were namely the Port Engineer, Port Operations Executive, Ship Broker, Post-Fixture Officer, Ship Charterer and Shipping Operations Officer, careers which have been highlighted as critical and important jobs for the development of Maritime Singapore.
Please refer to Annex A for more details on the requirement to pursue these careers, and the people who were featured for these roles during the workshop.
Participating companies were established names such as Anglo-Eastern Shipmanagement (Singapore), Aries Shipbroking (Asia), BW Group, Jurong Port, Klaveness Asia, NYK Group South Asia, Pacific International Lines, PSA Corporation and The China Navigation Company. Please refer to Annex B for more information on these companies.
Two undergraduates from the engineering and maritime disciplines respectively shared their learning experience at the career workshop. Mr Ricky Yeo, currently in his third year of studies in Mechanical Engineering at NTU, had the chance to learn more about the role of a Port Engineer. “I never knew that a Port Engineer’s role would be of such importance to maritime operations, as Singapore focuses a great deal on the maintenance of port equipment, and the main draw is that not only it is not entirely a desk-bound job, it also comes with an attractive salary package.”
Ms Bing Yitong, who will be starting her second year of studies in Maritime Studies at NTU this coming semester, was attracted to the global aspect of the maritime industry. “The stories shared by the company representatives in my group were very inspirational, and I managed to gain insights into the job scope of a Ship Charterer which I was unsure of previously. What more, I learned that as a Ship Charterer, I will get to travel around the world extensively!”
Each company had representatives present to share with the students in-depth about the job scope, job prospects and the job salaries of the careers showcased at the workshop, in a roundtable, focus-group format during the “Conversations with the industry” segment of the event. This provided an excellent and unique platform for an exchange of dialogue between the employers and the students, where the employers got to elaborate more on the careers to the students in a more targeted manner and get immediate feedback, while the students were able to clarify any uncertainties that they had about joining the industry with the employers.
“We are happy to have both maritime and non-maritime students join us today at this workshop, to find out more about the careers that have been highlighted as critical to the Singapore maritime industry. It is encouraging see the younger generation eager to find out more about the available careers out there, and putting great thought into making the right career choice for themselves. I believe that after attending today’s workshop, the students will walk away with a better understanding of the multitude of career prospects that Maritime Singapore has to offer, and consider joining the industry upon graduation,” said Mr David Chin, Executive Director of the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), also a veteran who has spent 54 years in the maritime industry.
According to this year’s Graduate Employment Survey results, 95% of NTU’s Maritime Studies graduates found employment within six months after taking their final examinations, with their gross median salary at $3,200. Fresh graduates from the maritime-related diploma courses were also found to be among the best paid, with the gross median salary from $2,200 to $2,500 for fresh graduates from the Built Environment, Engineering & Maritime course categories.
The Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) Office is a unit newly established this year under the SMF, as part of a SkillsFuture initiative by the MPA. The MSC Office will be starting a new portal at the end of the year that will provide Singaporeans with a comprehensive range of information regarding maritime education, scholarship, training and career matters.