The Singapore Government’s Approach to Upskilling
The Singapore government has long taken an active approach towards promoting lifelong learning and upskilling amongst workers in the workforce. Driven by the current volatility and uncertainty of world markets, workforces need to be more nimble than ever before. An agile workforce facilitates fast adoption of the latest technologies and skills, thus allowing the country to retain its competitiveness.
Singaporeans have accepted that the prospect of lifelong employment in a single role within a single corporation is a thing of the past. Instead, constant acquisition of new skills, knowledge and even cross training is required to thrive in the ever-shifting current environment. To support this, the government has made concerted efforts to help citizens remain relevant through subsidised training programs for reskilling and upskilling.
Among these programs is the current Multi-Skilling Scheme for the construction industry.
Moving Towards Higher Skilled Workers
The construction industry remains a vital component of Singapore’s economy. Plenty of Singapore’s lifelong learning resources have been devoted to this sector due to concerns over safety. “Higher Skilled Workers” in the industry refers to a category of workers who have attained advanced workplace skills. To encourage construction companies to support the upskilling of their workers to “Higher Skill”, construction companies can benefit in manpower cost savings with a lower levy for foreign workers with higher skill status.
You can upgrade your worker to “Higher Skill” through one of these 4 ways: (1) CoreTrade, (2) Multi-Skilling Scheme, (3) Direct R1 Pathway and (4) Market-Based Skills Recognition Framework. In this article, we cover the Multi-Skilling Scheme, explaining its purpose and how one might attain its certification.
An Introduction to Multi-Skilling Scheme for Singapore’s Construction Workforce
The multi-skilling scheme complements the CoreTrade scheme. While workers are recognised for their specialisation in key construction trades through the CoreTrade scheme, the multi-skilling scheme increase their flexibility and adaptability of the workers by recognising their competency in multiple trade skills.
Workers enrolling in this scheme can look forward to improving their competencies in multiple construction trades. This empowers them to carry out multiple types of work tasks onsite. In return, employers will enjoy the greater flexibility of being able to deploy these multi-skilled workers to a multitude of areas onsite.
Who Can Qualify as a Multi-Skilled Worker
For starters, the scheme was designed for experienced workers looking to upgrade from their previously attained Basic Skilled R2 certification. Two types of eligibility for the certification exists.
To qualify under the skilled based eligibility, workers would need to have 2 acceptable certifications. The first being either a SEC/ SEC(K) trade certification or a Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) certification for Malaysian Work Permit Holders, and the second being any SEC(K) trade certificate that is different from the first. Additionally, they are required to have a minimum of 4 years working experience in Singapore’s construction industry.
Alternatively, workers can qualify under the non-skilled based eligibility if they have a minimum of 6 years construction experience in Singapore, possess a SEC(K) certificate and either:
(A) Attend 120 hours of training in stipulated safety-related courses with a minimum 50 hours of training in selected courses with supervisory-level contents; or
(B) Obtained the WSQ Advanced Certificate in WSH
Why You Should Be Interested in Becoming a Higher Skilled Worker
If you are a foreigner, becoming a higher skilled R1 worker will allow you to work for a longer period in Singapore’s construction industry (up to 22 years). Your company will also pay lower levies for your employment. Combined with a flexible skillset, and you may find yourself in a much more employable position than before.
What is SEC(K)
Up to this point of the article, we have mentioned SEC(K) multiple times. SEC(K) stands for Skills Evaluation Certificate (Knowledge) and is used to certify the skills of tradesmen in Singapore’s construction industry. To be awarded a SEC(K), candidates are required to pass both written and practical modules.
What Continuing Education and Training (CET) Requirements are Applicable
Workers with multi-skilling certification are required to renew their registration every 2 years. This can be done through the attendance of CET in any one of their two registered SEC(K) or SEC trades. Typically, the CET course lasts for half a day, and serves to cover the latest codes, regulations, practices, equipment, materials and tools relevant to the particular construction trade.
THT Academy Offers Courses to Help You Become a Multi-Skilled Worker
The THT Academy (formerly known as Tat Hong Training Services Pte Ltd) offers various courses that count towards you becoming a multi-skilled worker and higher skilled worker. Examples include our “WSQ Supervise Safe Lifting Operations”, “WSQ Perform Rigger And Signalman Tasks” and “WSQ Operate Boom Lift” and “WSQ Operate Scissors Lift”.
THT Academy Pte Ltd has provided heavy machinery operation training to businesses since 1999. We strongly support lifelong learning and re-training of individuals to help them enhance their employability. We also offer many machinery courses in addition to Multi-Skilled certifications. Visit our website to find out more about our WSQ Operate Forklift and Operate Forklift Refreshercourses.