$72 Million Boost for Built Environment Workforce Development and Training

The Government has committed $72 million for workforce development and training for the Built Environment (BE) sector till 2020. This will include enhancements to the iBuildSG Scholarship and Sponsorship programme (formerly known as the Built Environment Scholarship and Sponsorship programme) for the full-time Undergraduate, Diploma and ITE tracks.

Recipients can expect structured On-Job-Training (OJT) when they start full-time employment at the sponsoring firm. Beyond their bond period, graduates can look forward to a further training grant of $3,000 to upgrade their skills and competencies. Those who continue their career in the BE sector for an additional year following their bond period will also receive a retention incentive of $7,000.

In addition, the Building Specialist Sponsorship (BSS) will be enhanced with an additional year of support under the revised 3-year programme to better align with the part-time NITEC, Higher NITEC and post-ITE development courses. The BSS is a collaboration between BCA and the industry to attract and retain talent at the specialist and supervisor level, e.g. Lift & Escalator specialists.

Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong announced this at the inaugural iBuildSG Scholarship and Sponsorship Ceremony, held today at the NUS University Cultural Centre. A total of 448 scholarships and sponsorships were awarded by BCA and 108 industry firms during the event.

One of the industry firms joining the iBuildSG Scholarship and Sponsorship programme for the first time this year is KKLim & Associates. Managing Director Mr Lim Kok Kim believes in continual improvement of staff. Mr Lim said, “Our belief is that when staff improve and grow, the company will grow together with them.

The joint sponsorship offered by BCA certainly gives a boost to people who wish to upgrade but are limited by financial constraints. As an engineering design company, we need technically competent and progressive staff who possess great interest and passion to upgrade themselves.”

To look into deepening ongoing tripartite collaboration for developing the industry’s workforce, BCA will be setting up a standing iBuildSG Tripartite Committee (TC). The TC will focus on talent attraction, retention and building competencies, and will also provide advice and inputs to the Skills Framework for the sector.

This framework, which will be developed jointly by BCA, SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore, will map out career pathways for identified job roles in the sector, existing and emerging skills and competencies needed to stay relevant. It will also provide guidance on the available training programmes to help them acquire these skills and competencies.

BCA will also engage students through the iBuildSG Club for students in secondary schools and tertiary institutions. To be launched in April 2019, the iBuildSG club will introduce students to the BE sector and all that it offers. Its aim would be to attract youths to take up courses which enable them to pursue meaningful careers in the sector.

Members will be able to take part in activities such as learning journeys, inter-disciplinary projects and hands-on workshops/ competitions, as well as visits to places of interest to learn about the transformation in the sector and the important role it plays in building Singapore. Members will be able to stay updated on the latest news about our built environment, club events and activities through the Club’s social media platforms.

BCA CEO, Mr Hugh Lim said, “Singapore’s built environment is in the midst of an exciting transformation and this demands new technology, higher skills and innovation in how we build Singapore. Powering the engine of transformation are talented and committed individuals and this is why we have enhanced our existing programmes and created new touchpoints to reach out to as many individuals as possible.

Students are a natural starting point and by reaching out to them at an early stage through the iBuildSG Club, they can be better advised how to prepare themselves to seize new career opportunities in the sector. We also hope that the enhancements made to the iBuildSG Scholarship and Sponsorship programme will continue to attract and retain talent in our sector. We will continue to collaborate closely with the industry to press on with our transformation efforts, through the iBuildSG Tripartite Committee.”

This article was first published on 22 January 2019 on Building and Construction Authority site: https://www1.bca.gov.sg/about-us/news-and-publications/media-releases/2019/01/21/$72-million-boost-for-built-environment-workforce-development-and-training