Minister for Transport, Mr Lui Tuck Yew, announced enhancements to the existing Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF) and exemption of Maritime Welfare Fees, as the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) continues its investment in the maritime sector to develop Singapore as an international maritime centre.
Enhancements to Maritime Cluster Fund’s Manpower Schemes
To encourage more maritime companies to train and develop the capabilities of their local employees, MPA will be raising its co-funding support for the three manpower schemes – Training@MaritimeSingapore, Talent@MaritimeSingapore and InvestManpower@MaritimeSingapore – under the MCF. Co-funding support for the schemes will be increased from the current 50 per cent to 70 per cent and will take effect from October 2012 for a period of three years. The increased co-funding support is expected to cost MPA $2 million a year.
In addition, the Training@MaritimeSingapore scheme will also be extended to include non-maritime employees and displaced maritime executives who wish to attend maritime-related certifiable programmes. This move seeks to encourage more mid-career personnel to position themselves for a career in the maritime industry.
The MCF was introduced by MPA in 2002 to facilitate the growth of Singapore’s maritime cluster by supporting the industry’s manpower development efforts. The enhancements to the MCF manpower schemes were developed in response to feedback gathered during our regular consultation with the industry. It is part of MPA’s efforts to develop a continued supply of skilled manpower to sustain Singapore’s growing maritime industry.
Exemption of Maritime Welfare Fees
MPA continues to work closely with its industry partners to maintain Singapore’s competitive edge. In response to industry feedback, MPA will exempt vessels with a port stay of not more than five days, from the payment of Maritime Welfare Fees. Vessels visiting the Port of Singapore will be able to reduce their overall operating costs and is part MPA’s on-going efforts to provide a pro-business environment for maritime businesses and establishments in Singapore. This initiative will take effect on 1 October 2012 for a period of five years and is expected to cost MPA an estimated S$7 million a year.
Maritime Welfare Fees are collected to provide welfare activities, training and subsidy for housing of seafarers from visiting vessels. Even with the exemption, MPA will continue to provide a range of welfare facilities and activities for visiting seafarers.
“The enhancements to the Maritime Cluster Fund’s Manpower Schemes are part of MPA’s efforts to develop a sustainable pool of skilled talent for the maritime industry. Through the exemption of the Maritime Welfare Fees, we hope that we can help reduce the operating costs of vessels calling at our port. These initiatives are part of our long-term commitment to provide a conducive environment for maritime companies in Singapore,” said Mr Lam Yi Young, MPA’s Chief Executive.
The two initiatives were announced by Minister Lui who was speaking at the Singapore Shipping Association’s 27th Anniversary Gala Dinner.
Source: MPA, September 28, 2012