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New measures to develop construction industry professionals, raise building standards

THE Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) announced new initiatives on Thursday to boost the professional development and leadership of small and medium sized construction firms and help raise building standards amid the industry's transformation.

SCAL will launch a Construction Professional Accreditation Scheme to provide better recognition and career paths for industry professionals. To be rolled out by the first quarter of 2020, it will start with the accreditation of construction project managers who will be assessed for their technical and managerial skills for handling different sizes of projects.

SCAL has also launched a new Young Leaders in Construction programme to nurture the next generation of industry professionals. Activities will be organised for young leaders to develop relationships among peers and with government and industry stakeholders, said SCAL.

"They will keep up to date with latest trends, deepen knowledge and skills, and develop sound business acumen and ethics while also caring for society," said SCAL in a media release on Thursday (Oct 3).

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The industry body also rolled out a new Accredited Builders Scheme to help small and medium sized local contractors benchmark the quality and standards of their buildings.

The scheme will enable accredited builders to be recognised for having sound quality management systems covering areas such as quality, safety, contractual practices and sustainability.

The initiatives were announced at SCAL's annual dinner event, where the first awards for the SCAL Safety Awards were given out to Gin Chia Co Pte Ltd and Zheng Keng Engineering & Construction Pte Ltd.

The awards were launched for registered members under the Singapore List of Trade Subcontractors (SLOTS) to encourage greater ownership of workplace safety and health (WSH) and recognise subcontractors that have advocated WSH in their organisations, said SCAL.

"More talents and better skills are required for our industry transformation. Our ability to attract, retain and reward professionals in the industry will be a key success factor," said Ng Yek Meng, president of SCAL.

"To achieve the optimum productivity in the construction industry, all stakeholders in the built environment including the government agencies, developers, consultants and builders have to collaborate and work as a team," he added.

SCAL launched the WSH award last year, and set four key targets that it will work towards, in line with the construction industry transformation map.

The targets are: expanding services in its proposed construction hub; enhancing the programmes and services of its subsidiaries to support business development; creating more partnership and alliances; and strengthening its secretariat capabilities.