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Construction workforce gets boost with BCA's latest education funding schemes
- Diploma Scholarship and Sponsorship Programmes to attract students to take up built environment courses at the Polytechnics / BCA Academy
- Financial incentives and clear career progression path to attract and retain entrants to construction industry
Singapore, 28 October 2011 - To build a strong workforce at the technical and supervisory level in the building and construction sector, the Building and Construction Authority is rolling out two new manpower development programmes. The two new programmes - the Diploma Scholarship Programme and the Diploma Sponsorship Programme - were unveiled by Minister of State for National Development and Manpower, BG(NS) Tan Chuan-Jin, today at the BCA Academy's graduation ceremony. Under the programmes, top talents will be identified and incentivised to pursue built environment courses in the local Polytechnics and BCA Academy. In addition, a structured career progression pathway has been mapped out to develop and groom them so that they could lead and anchor the construction workforce at the technical and supervisory level. This is in line with BCA's vision to develop a building and construction sector which is technologically advanced, supported by competent firms and progressive workforce.
New Diploma Scholarship and Sponsorship Programmes
Tapping on Government funding through the $250 million Construction Productivity and Capability Fund (CPCF) announced in May 2010, the new programmes provide two components of funding for the students, firstly during their Diploma studies, and later at the post-diploma stage when they enter the workforce.
Diploma Study Phase: The Diploma Scholarship targets the top students from the Polytechnics and the BCA Academy. It covers the scholar's full tuition fees and offers a monthly allowance of $900. In total, local diploma students could receive up to $15,000 per year during their study. The Diploma Sponsorship aims to reach out to a larger group of potential entrants, and will provide $7,000 per year for each sponsored student.
Post-Diploma Development Phase: For both the Diploma Scholarship and Sponsorship Programmes, BCA will work with sponsoring firms to provide the diploma graduates with a structured on-the-job training programme and an upgrading opportunity through part-time specialist or advanced diploma, to deepen their knowledge in specific areas. To further boost the appeal of built environment careers, BCA will work with the sponsoring firms to provide an attractive monthly salary of at least $2,500 for locals.
Full Suite of Manpower Development Programmes to Enhance the Quality of the Construction Workforce
With the new programmes in place, BCA now has a full suite of manpower development incentive programmes for firms in the building and construction sector to tap on, covering the professional level to the technical, supervisory and foremen level:
- The existing joint BCA-Industry Built Environment Undergraduate Scholarship Programme attracts talents to take up built environment courses at the universities in Singapore and subsequently pursue a career in the built environment.
- The new Diploma Scholarship and Sponsorship Programmes attract students to take up built environment courses at the Polytechnics / BCA Academy and eventually take up a built environment career by providing financial incentives and a clear career progression path.
- The recently announced Apprenticeship Programme provides an attractive and clear career progression path to build up a pipeline of foremen and tradesmen in the industry.
With these programmes, BCA will partner the industry firms in the building and construction sector to build up a competent and productive workforce at all levels to anchor and lead the transformation of the sector.
Dr. Ho Nyok Yong, President of Singapore Contractors Association, has expressed full support for the programmes, "With the on-going strong construction demand, it is timely to implement programmes and initiatives that will boost capability of construction industry firms and productivity of the workforce. Partnering BCA to sponsor talents, from apprentices to diploma students to undergraduates, is an investment in the companies' future too, as it will help them to build up their talent pool and ensure sustainability in their business."
Er. Ho Siong Hin, President of the Institution of Engineers Singapore, is also confident of the new Diploma Scholarship and Diploma Sponsorship Programmes in developing a local group of personnel in the industry workforce, "By mapping out a clear career progression path for the students, the programmes gives an extra nudge for students to seriously consider pursuing a career in the built environment. These manpower development programmes will also certainly benefit progressive firms which take a long-term view on the value of a quality and competent workforce, which is the cornerstone of a technologically advanced sector. "
Annex - BCA's Manpower Development Incentive Programmes (463KB .pdf)
Portable document format version of the media release is also available (493KB .pdf).