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THIS year's winner of the Excellence in Manpower Training and Development Award, Swire Pacific Offshore Operations (Pte) Ltd (SPO), pays special attention to manpower training and is an active member of the Singapore maritime community.
Ron Mathison, managing director, Swire Pacific Offshore, says: "SPO is honoured to win the Excellence in Manpower Training and Development Award. Despite the unprecedented challenges faced during this downturn, our commitment to train and develop our people remains steadfast.
"We believe that ongoing investment in our people will ensure that our seafarers and shore-based employees continue to be among the best in the industry, thereby enabling us to provide safe, reliable and high quality services to our clients. I would also like to thank our trainers at Swire Marine Training Centre (SMTC) for their unwavering commitment to delivering excellence in marine services."
The company helps to nurture talent for the Singapore maritime community and offers scholarships to encourage youth to pursue maritime careers.
"SPO is strongly committed to supporting the community. We recognise that when the communities in which we operate thrive, so do we. SPO has been a strong supporter of educational scholarships and internships in Singapore over the last five years," he adds. They include:
- A Singapore management trainee scheme which provides a structured job rotation programme to fresh graduates to gain international business and cultural exposure and provides them with opportunities to work in different areas within the company, including postings to SPO's global offices. These management trainees are also mentored by senior leaders in the company.
- Sponsorship of the establishment of Singapore Management University's Maritime Economics Concentration - now known as the MET programme, for the initial start-up period of three years and an additional three years after 2016.
- Establishment of SPO's bursary at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in which the company supported two NTU Engineering/Marine undergraduates (preference given to persons with disabilities) each year.
- Ongoing scholarships of Singaporean undergraduate management trainees under the Singapore Maritime Foundation's MaritimeONE Outreach Network. Twelve of these management trainees have joined SPO's head office to date and the company aims to rotate them to its different departments and positions in the global offices before they assume full time management positions.
- In-house university scholarships - SPO is currently sponsoring three children of company employees to attend universities in Australia, Malaysia and UK, with no bond period.
Importantly, its senior management staff are involved in maritime forums and conferences as guest speakers and panellists and some of them are on the Singapore Shipping Association's (SSA) working committees to provide industry insights regularly.
Last year, its vessel, Pacific Legacy, was berthed at the VivoCity waterfront promenade as part of the OSV@Vivo Open House event to allow members of the public to experience first-hand what it is like onboard an offshore vessel.
Ian Offland, safety and marine assurance director, Swire Pacific Offshore, says: "The Swire Marine Training Centre (SMTC) in Singapore is SPO's global training centre for our sea-going staff and is the most advanced of its kind in the offshore industry and among the first of such integrated facilities in Asia."
In keeping with SPO's focus on manpower training and development, SMTC will be making its facilities and courses available to industry partners later this year.
SPO has hosted numerous visits by dignitaries, government officials and business partners at SMTC as part of the company's industry engagement efforts and to give them a better understanding of its strong corporate emphasis on safety and specialised offshore training.
The company partners the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and institutes of higher learning to bring maritime students to its training centre for guided tours to raise awareness about the offshore industry and career prospects, adds Mr Offland.
Mr Offland says that SMTC conducts ongoing professional training for the company's seafarers in five core areas - safety management, dynamic positioning, anchor handling, engineering and electrical. In 2016, SPO trained 739 seafarers at its flagship training centre in 99 courses, accumulating a total of 20,127 hours.