BCA NEWS RELEASE
New initiative launched to enhance student internships in the built environment sector
- The new Built Environment (BE) Formation Programme will better prepare students for their internship and excite them about careers in the Built Environment sector
- The inaugural iBuildSG Young Leaders' Advocate awards were presented to four role models, in recognition of their leadership and contributions through the Young Leaders Programme
Singapore, 24 October 2019 - Internships are a key part of a student's journey to be job ready, particularly in the Built Environment (BE) sector where the pace of change is picking up rapidly. Students are exposed to and acquire practical, on-the-job skills before they join the industry. 2nd Minister for National Development Desmond Lee emphasised this in his opening speech at the BCA-Industry iBuildSG Scholarship and Sponsorship Ceremony held today, where 351 scholarship and sponsorship recipients received their awards. In particular, the number of part-time postgraduate sponsorship recipients has more than doubled this year, to 26, compared to 10 last year, as more firms appreciate the value of upskilling their workforce for longer-term retention.
The inaugural edition of the Built Environment (BE) Formation Programme for students in the BE-related courses took place from 2 to 5 September 2019, with close to 60 participants and support from 22 industry firms and agencies. The 4-day BE Formation Programme incorporates experiential and interactive activities -- such as interactive simulations, learning journeys and group discussions -- to help participants understand the BE ecosystem better. Participants obtained insights on various aspects of the BE sector, including career pathways and latest technological developments. Participants also visited exemplary projects such as Eunoia Junior College, where they learnt about the application of innovative technologies such as Mass Engineered Timber; and Siemens Centre, where they saw how the implementation of data analytics for building operations and maintenance could improve building performance.
"I was able to learn many things from various industry titans who had fostered and built the core foundation of our sector. I've seen what the sector has to offer, especially with the Construction ITM, and I am excited to be part of the BE family and am ready to contribute to the best of my abilities in the coming years," said Mr Khoo Nee Kong, a Year 3 Building Services student from the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).
Another participant, Mr Umar Abdul Aziz, who is in his 3rd year at the Civil Engineering course at SIT, said, "One of the highlights of the BE Formation Programme was the learning journey to an ongoing construction project. The project displayed the country's push for Design for Manufacturing and Assembly with the usage of Mass Engineered Timber. As a future engineer, being aware of the latest industry trends prepares me for projects involving more intensive use of this construction method when I graduate."
Participating firms in the inaugural run of the programme were also supportive. Mr Tony Tay, Deputy Managing Director of WSP Consultancy Pte Ltd., which sent nine of their interns for the programme, said, "The programme gave the interns a good overview on the trends, opportunities and challenges faced by the sector today, including digital disruption of a traditionally labour-intensive industry. Having interns who are aware of industry transformation and trends will help them to be open-minded about new ideas and improve their perception of the industry."
Mr Roy Khoo, Director of Kimly Construction Pte Ltd, which also participated in the programme, added, "Our interns make up the future generation of the BE workforce. It is pivotal for them to understand the rationale and importance of industry transformation and how they must be equipped with the right skillsets. The BE Formation Programme lays the foundation for these interns to join the industry and Kimly is pleased to support our interns' learning at such a platform."
Minister Lee also presented the inaugural iBuildSG Young Leaders' Advocate award to four role models, in recognition of their leadership and contributions through the Young Leaders Programme (YLP). Aside from sharing their experiences with younger students through initiatives such as the BE Formation Programme and career talks, the Young Leaders had also contributed their ideas in policy shaping and novel ways to transform the sector. The four Young Leaders are:
- Ms. Ong Yan Xiang, Senior Principal Engineer, CPG Consultants
- Ar. Tan Szue Hann, Managing Director, Miniwiz Pte Ltd
- Mr. Gavin Chan, Principal Geotechnical Engineer, CPG Consultants
- Ms. Ivie Sim, Assistant Development Manager, LendLease Retail Pte Ltd
BCA CEO Mr. Hugh Lim said, "We have come a long way in building our modern city, but beyond just infrastructure, we must also build up our sector's leadership and talent. To succeed in industry transformation efforts, we need leaders and professionals who are competent and forward-looking, and this is why we have put in place leadership and talent development strategies at different levels. We are glad that the BE sector has been working closely with the government in this important collective effort."
Annex A - Built Environment Formation Programme (345kB .pdf)
Portable document format version of the media release is also available (944kB .pdf).