Panel discussion comprising industry professionals and education leaders focuses on maritime manpower as outlined in the International Maritime Centre (IMC) 2030 Strategic Review Report

Singapore, 8 November 2017 – Discussion on Singapore’s efforts to stay ahead of the curve as a world leading International Maritime Centre took centre stage at the MSC Connexions Forum on 3rd November 2017. It was the second year that the Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) Office had organized this for maritime employers and those working with students and jobseekers in schools and career centers under Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i). Building on last year’s success, about 150 human resource leaders, industry experts and education and career guidance counsellors participated in the half-day event at Carlton Hotel Singapore, which gave updates on the latest developments in Maritime Singapore, and provided a platform for discussion on Maritime Manpower-related matters.

Panel Discussion – “Developing a Multi-Skilled Maritime Workforce with a Global Mindset”

The focus of the panel discussion centered on the talent strategy outlined in the International Maritime Centre (IMC) 2030 Strategic Review1 report presented to the Singapore Government recently. Senior representatives from the maritime industry and Institutes of Higher Learning shared their insights on the necessity and ways to develop a multi-skilled maritime workforce with a global mindset, as recommended by the IMC 2030 Advisory Committee convened by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

“Our discussion centred round the necessity for a multi-skilled workforce with a global mindset in shipping since it is global by nature. Talent is essential to sustain the vibrancy of Maritime Singapore and to help encourage improvements with fresh perspectives as the industry undergoes transformation. It was a very engaging and interesting sharing of views, and I believe the audience had a better understanding of how we could present the juicy challenges that the maritime industry has to offer, to attract a generation that relishes the opportunity to make a difference through their work,” said Mr Haider Nawaz, panel moderator, and Managing Director of Red Dot Shipping Pte Ltd.

Mr Punit Oza, General Manager, Vice President and Head of Supramax Pacific of Klaveness Asia Pte Ltd kicked off the discussion by sharing what it means to have a global mindset and its importance to maritime employers, with shipping as an industry being global by nature. The ability to understand global dynamics and look beyond the local market, must be second nature to everyone working in shipping. Essentially, he explained that there is a need for a global mindset, global thinking and global actions. Mr Ooi Boon Hoe, Chief Executive Officer of Jurong Port Pte Ltd shared that the shipping and maritime industry is global and exposure is necessary to cultivate a global mindset. Employers and educators should provide exposure to the future talent, as it would be advantageous for them. He went on to say that looking back and understanding the past is as important as looking ahead to the future, to avoid having to relearn lessons.

Learnable competencies were touched upon by Ms Crystal Lim, Director of the Centre for Future-ready Graduates, National University of Singapore (NUS) who elaborated on the three main qualities to succeed in an ambiguous world: curiosity, empathy and sensing capability, which include different forms of awareness to do with the self, other people and the environment.

Similar to the other panelists, Captain Mohd Salleh, Director of Singapore Maritime Academy, Singapore Polytechnic (SP), also agreed that shipping is a global industry. He elaborated that the programme at Singapore Maritime Academy preps the students with a global mindset by giving them the opportunity to go out to sea and go on various exchange programmes, giving them the exposure as well as opportunity to work with people of different cultures and diverse backgrounds. He capped off the subject with a saying often passed down to new recruits, “It is difficult to change the rest of the crew members around you, but it is easy to change yourself.”

*For the full profiles of the panel speakers, please refer to Annex A for more information.

Mr Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman of the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) and International Maritime Centre (IMC) 2030 Advisory Committee, said, “A skilled workforce is critical for sustaining Singapore’s competitiveness as an International Maritime Centre. With this in mind, SMF set up the Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) Office to support companies with their talent attraction efforts. MSC Office has worked in partnership with maritime companies, government agencies and educational institutions to help students and jobseekers understand the multiple pathways into a maritime career.”

“As an example, the MSC Maritime Careers Workshop provides a platform for graduates to hear from leading maritime companies about their business and career opportunities, and response has been excellent so far. We are also working with the National University of Singapore, Jurong Port and PSA Corporation on the pilot run of the NUS Co-Operative Education programme to target talent in emerging areas of demand such as Business Analytics, Information Security and Data Science & Analytics,” he added.

Participants at the MSC Connexions Forum also had the chance to hear about the Skills Framework for Sea Transport2 launched this year which provides information on employment, career pathways, occupations, 48 job roles, skills and competencies and training programmes. This is a resource for careers in the sea transport sector developed with individuals, employers and training service providers in mind.

Connecting Students and Jobseekers to Maritime Opportunities

Maritime has been highlighted as an important sector under SkillsFuture, and efforts to attract more talent for the Singapore maritime industry have intensified with various initiatives by the MSC Office since its establishment last year.

The Maritime Singapore Connect website ( was launched in July this year as a new one-stop resource for information of interest to students and jobseekers. Individuals can upload their resumes as an indication of their interest in internships or jobs, and maritime companies in Singapore can use the website to contact interested candidates whenever a suitable role arises.

  • About Singapore Maritime Foundation

    The Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) was established on 27 January 2004 to facilitate dialogue and cooperation among maritime stakeholders from the public and private sectors. As the bridge between the public and private sectors, SMF aims to provide the industry with a clear and representative voice, and spearhead projects to boost its development.

    SMF also organises and participates in a host of maritime events to strengthen the Maritime Singapore brand. To date, SMF has significantly benefitted from strong support from all sectors of the industry which has enabled the organisation to reach out directly to the community for new areas of work to improve the current maritime ecosystem.

    For details, please visit

  • About Maritime Singapore Connect Office

    Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) was set up in 2016 to elevate profiling efforts of the maritime industry, connect students and jobseekers to maritime opportunities, and provide Singaporeans with easy access to maritime careers, education and training opportunities.

    As a unit under the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), MSC serves as a central node connecting maritime employers, industry associations, schools and government agencies with students and jobseekers. It offers maritime-related education and career guidance, links the industry with schools for internship and job opportunities and organises outreach events and publicity campaigns.

    For details, please visit

Media Contacts
  • Right Hook Communications

    Debbie Pereira
    Account Manager
    (65) 6291 1393

    Nurhayati Ghani
    Account Executive
    (65) 8218 4422

  • Singapore Maritime Foundation

    Regina Lim
    Senior Manager
    (65) 6325 0117