It is going to be an exciting journey ahead as we seek to drive higher productivity improvements through the second Construction Productivity Roadmap. The first roadmap, which was launched in 2010, aimed to guide the built environment sector towards an average 2 to 3 per cent productivity growth per year from 2010 to 2020.
We are now at the halfway mark and have made good progress. At the industry level, site productivity has been improving at 1.4 per cent per annum since 2010 at an increasing rate from 0.8 per cent in 2011 to 2.0 per cent in 2014. More firms have started looking at ways to build smarter and faster, as seen from the increase in the adoption of productive trades including system formwork and precast systems.
The second roadmap, which was rolled out in June 2015 targets three key areas, namely a higher quality workforce, higher capital investment and better- integrated construction value chain.
Beyond reducing our reliance on foreign workers, more can be done to raise the quality of the construction workforce. Since January this year, all construction firms are required to upgrade and retain their higher-skilled foreign workers. The introduction of the new Direct R1 pathway in September this year would mean that more workers will be able to be certified, and come to Singapore as higher skilled R1 workers instead of basic skilled R2 workers. In addition, BCA has enhanced its scholarships, sponsorships and apprenticeships to provide a clearer and more complete progression on both academic and competency pathways, and build a strong local core of workers.
In 2014, BCA commissioned the study by Boston Consulting Group on how Singapore's built environment sector can be restructured to achieve higher productivity. The study identified that higher capital investment is needed to move Singapore past the inflection point for exponential growth in productivity performance. A greater adoption of productive technologies on-site, the move towards Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), and developing a strong core of progressive and productive builders are key drivers to achieve this.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a key enabling tool to facilitate close collaboration and improve project management. Building on the widespread adoption of BIM championed under the first Construction Productivity Roadmap, we must strive to achieve better integration and coordination across the construction value chain through Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) to avoid wastage and rework.
To support higher productivity improvements in the sector, S$450 million has been set aside under the second tranche of the Construction Productivity Capability Fund (CPCF) to support the workforce development, technology adoption, and capability building schemes under the second Construction Productivity Roadmap. This is on top of the S$335 million allocated under the first CPCF tranche over the last five years.
I strongly urge construction firms to tap the available funding under the CPCF to improve productivity. Continued support from all industry stakeholders is absolutely critical to meet our productivity targets through the second Construction Productivity Roadmap.