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Mar/Apr 2019 Issue
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BCA Partners Industry to Attract Talent to the Built Environment Sector

Mr Chew Xiu Zheng is not your typical undergraduate. The civil engineer-in-training has already made an important contribution to the built environment (BE) by developing an intelligent, self-balancing system for the lifting of Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) modules with his NUS coursemates and his sponsoring company. This system improves site productivity by reducing the human intervention required to manually balance the modules.

People like Xiu Zheng are at the heart of the industry’s transformation journey. To continue supporting individuals like him, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Mr Lawrence Wong announced at the inaugural iBuildSG Scholarship and Sponsorship Ceremony that the Government has committed $72 million to support the training and development of BE professionals through the enhancement of the iBuildSG Scholarship and Sponsorship programme.

Recipients of the full-time Undergraduate, Diploma and ITE awards can now expect structured on-the-job training when they start full-time employment at their sponsoring firms. After completing their bond, they can look forward to a further training grant of $3,000 and a retention incentive of $7,000 if they remain in the BE sector for another year. This enhancement has also been extended to university graduates embarking on postgraduate courses.

Recipients of the Building Specialist Sponsorship award will also see an extension of their training programme from two to three years, enabling them to attend longer courses such as part-time NITEC, higher NITEC, and post-ITE development courses.

What sets these scholarships and sponsorships apart is that they are offered in partnership with the industry: sponsoring firms are involved in the selection of candidates, and award recipients are guaranteed a job with their sponsoring firm upon graduation. There are also multiple entry points for aspiring and existing professionals from the entire value chain of the BE sector, as they can apply for the programme at different stages of their studies and careers.

Minister Lawrence Wong with recipients of the iBuildSG Scholarship and Sponsorship awards.
Minister Lawrence Wong with recipients of the iBuildSG Scholarship and Sponsorship awards.

Minister Wong also announced that the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will set up a standing iBuildSG Tripartite Committee to deepen tripartite collaboration to develop the industry’s workforce. Talent attraction, retention and building competencies will be key focus areas for the tripartite committee. The tripartite committee will also take an advisory role for the Skills Framework which BCA is developing for the sector. This framework will map out career pathways for identified job roles in the sector, including the current and emerging skills and competencies needed to stay relevant.

BCA will also engage youths and students through the iBuildSG Club by introducing them to the BE sector and encouraging them to take up relevant courses which will enable them to pursue meaningful careers in the sector.

Recipients of the iBuildSG Scholarship and Sponsorship awards
Recipients of the iBuildSG Scholarship and Sponsorship awards.