The Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) has launched a Maritime Workforce Transformation Guidebook, which offers a practical approach for companies in the maritime sector to embark on job redesign to attract talent to the industry better.
The guidebook is distilled from key findings and actionable recommendations of a job redesign pilot conducted in 2022 by SMF in partnership with Pacific Carriers Limited (PCL) Pacific International Lines (PIL). The pilot, which focused on the roles of a Technical Superintendent and a Vessel Operator, was supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
Maritime companies in Singapore will find the job redesign methodology in the guidebook useful for other roles beyond technical ones. The launch of the guidebook represents a concrete step forward by the maritime sector in Singapore to improve the attractiveness of maritime jobs to the talent pool and to develop a sustainable career development path for these roles.
Professional services organisation Ernst & Young Advisory Pte. Ltd. (EY) was appointed by SMF to provide advice by applying their job redesign methodology to refresh the value propositions of both the two technical roles, plan interventions across career development, enhance work processes and spur digital adoption.
Through insights gleaned from extensive interviews with stakeholders at both PCL and PIL, the guidebook proposes pathways to redesign the job of a technical superintendent from that of a technical problem solver to a people leader and data-driven decision maker. For vessel operators, the guidebook suggests ways to redesign the job from one that is operational in nature to one that offers strategic value through operational excellence. The pilot was conducted over a period of four months at PCL and PIL.
“This pilot has been a fruitful collaboration between SMF, PCL and PIL with invaluable input from EY. By developing pathways to enhance and elevate the jobs of the technical superintendent and the vessel operator, we demonstrated the potential and possibilities of job redesign as a methodology to transform the maritime workforce. In the future, we hope to identify more roles for job redesign,” said Ms Tan Beng Tee, Executive Director of Singapore Maritime Foundation.
“The pilot has sharpened our employees’ aspirations and crystalised areas for reskilling and upskilling, emphasising digitalisation and sustainability. We also clarified the pathways to evolve the two roles – technical superintendents and vessel operators – to be stronger value generators to the business. We hope the industry will come together to examine more roles for transformation,” said Mr Hor Weng Yew, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Pacific Carriers Limited.
Mr Lars Kastrup, Chief Executive Officer of PIL, said, “PIL would like to thank SMF for spearheading this pilot and inviting PIL as a partner. We are confident the guidebook will be useful for maritime companies in Singapore. For us at PIL, through this pilot, we have garnered valuable insights into conducting job redesigns for our Technical Superintendents, who are now known as our Vessel Managers. The job redesign has helped transform the traditional scope of a Technical Superintendent into a more comprehensive and meaningful role as a Vessel Manager. We hope this will make ship management an attractive and interesting career option.”
“Through this job redesign pilot project, the team demonstrated that traditional maritime roles can be redesigned to strengthen employees’ value propositions, allowing them to seize opportunities in new job roles, including in sustainability and digitalisation areas. Through the job redesign, we can also make jobs in shipping more accessible by identifying more precisely the specific skills required instead of applying the traditional entry requirements, which may often require the candidate to have long seafaring experience. I would like to take this opportunity to thank SMF, PCL and PIL for participating in the job redesign pilot project, as well as EY for putting together this valuable transformation guidebook,” said Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to be part of this project that has culminated in the development of the Maritime Workforce Transformation Guidebook. Singapore remains at the forefront as an International Maritime Centre with talent as a key competitive advantage. We hope that at this critical juncture, where key trends of digitalisation and sustainability are having a profound impact on the workforce of the future, the aforementioned guidebook will serve as a good starting point for companies in the maritime sector to embark on their workforce transformation journey as they look to re-imagine existing job roles for the future,” said Mr Goh Jia Yong, Partner, People Advisory Services, Ernst & Young Advisory Pte. Ltd.
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