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First industry programme in Singapore to develop safety professionals for oil & gas/petrochemicals industry launched

Shell has launched Singapore's first industry-driven engineering construction Trainee Safety Advisor Programme (TSAP) tailored for the oil and gas/petrochemical industry.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Workplace Safety & Health Council (WSHC) supports this initiative as a good industry move to help develop more safety and health professionals. The training will also tap on the Skills Development Fund1 administered by the Workforce Development Agency. 

More than 2,000 applications to the programme were received, indicating a strong interest in this hitherto under-recognised area of work. A total of 87 trainees have entered the programme in three batches of about 30 people, almost all of them local candidates, dispelling the general perception that locals do not want to engage in this kind of work. Training of the first group started in September 2008 and the last batch started on 2 February 2009.  The training programme takes a year and the first batch of 60 safety advisors will be ready for deployment in the industry by the end of 2009 to help fulfil the strong demand for such professionals in Singapore, especially in view of many world-scale projects coming on-stream over the next few years. 

This comprehensive training programme comprising 118 modules and at least 400 hours of classroom training will lead participants to international accreditation according to the NEBOSH2 (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) standards. The programme will also ensure that participants attend mandatory training required under Singapore’s Workplace Safety & Health (WSH) laws. These include the Safety Instruction Course (Manhole) for supervisors, Oil and Petro-Chemical Industry Safety Course for supervisors, the Building Construction Supervisor Safety Course, and the Lifting Supervisor Safety Course.

Expressing support for this industry initiative, Mr Ho Siong Hin, MOM’s Divisional Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Division said, “The Ministry applauds this industry-led effort to raise safety and health capabilities as well as offer job opportunities in the safety profession for Singaporeans. This is a good example of how a strong and supportive industry led by the WSH Council and who are committed to WSH can work hand-in-hand, together with the Manpower Ministry.  Such initiatives will enable more people to consider safety as a motivating, challenging and meaningful profession, while helping us to strive towards world-class safety standards.” 

The TSAP is also the only one of its kind in Singapore that offers its trainees an ex gratia allowance while undergoing training, with a view to full-time employment upon completion of the programme. As a full-time course, accreditation through the TSAP can be achieved in 12 to 16 months, compared to four years in most other safety courses. On top of classroom training, hands-on training at Shell sites - with assigned site-safety professionals as mentors for practical experience - also help to make the training more realistic and comprehensive. Most of the participants are currently undergoing on-site practical training with the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC) project. 

“Safety has always been a priority for Shell. As the industry continues to grow, we recognised the pressing need for more trained safety professionals and the importance of raising safety standards at work. In line with our sustainable development goals, we started this programme to groom more trained professionals for the industry and beyond. Ultimately, we want to promote an improved safety culture in Singapore,” said Simon Lam, Venture Director for the SEPC project. 

He added: “The TSAP not only creates jobs, it also helps to grow the local skill pool of safety and health personnel, and raises the safety and health standard in the construction industry by providing comprehensive classroom and on-the-job training. This training programme complements the push for better Workplace Safety and Health capabilities to make workplace safety and health an integral part of business, reduce occupational fatalities and injuries, and to make Singapore a centre of excellence for safety and health.” 

The oil and gas/petrochemicals industry, coupled with construction in general, is estimated to require an additional 150 safety supervisors annually over the next five years. The TSAP supports the national WSQ (Workforce Skills Qualifications) framework. After completing the course, accredited safety advisors will help fill the safety professionals manpower gap through employment either with Shell or other industry players, as well as in the wider Singapore market. They will also be well qualified to progress to higher levels in their jobs and gain advancements in career growth. A number of industry players have already indicated interest to employ these Shell-trained professionals after they complete their tenure with the company.   


About SEPC

The SEPC is Shell’s largest downstream investment in Asia. It includes a new world-scale 800,000 tonnes per annum ethylene cracker on Pulau Bukom and a 750,000 tonnes per annum Mono-Ethylene Glycol (MEG) plant on Jurong Island using Shell’s proprietary technology. The project scope also includes modifications and additions to the Bukom refinery and a butadiene extraction plant. 


For further information, please contact:
Oh Yam Chew (Mr)
External Affairs & Communications
Shell Companies in Singapore
Tel.: +65 6384 8943/ +65 9764 0193
E-mail: yam-chew.oh@shell.com 


1
 The Skills Development Fund was formed to encourage employers to invest in skills upgrading of their workforce, and offers incentives for them to mount training programmes for employees.

2 NEBOSH is an international standard for safety professionals that is recognised in over 80 countries.