Construction, Marine and Process (CMP) sectors piloting tightened process to bring in more workforce

May 2021 - Foreign migrant worker at construction site; image by Dr David Sing/Shutterstock

Singapore, 12 July 2021 – The Construction, Marine and Process (CMP) sectors are piloting tightened process to bring in more workers to complement the existing workforce. The process includes proactive testing, stringent health protocols and safe management measures.

The CMP sectors play an essential role in Singapore’s development. Companies in the CMP sectors contribute to the development of public infrastructure and private properties, construction and maintenance of vessels and offshore energy infrastructures to support the ocean economy, and plant engineering services.

The global pandemic has had a protracted impact on CMP sectors. Since the end of 2019, the number of Work Permit Holders in the CMP sectors has declined by more than 60,000 (or more than 15 per cent). This has resulted in project delays and significant labour cost increase, which in turn affect the viability of businesses.

Besides delay on housing and infrastructure projects which have implications on homeowners and Singaporeans, there are implications on Singapore’s global competitiveness, credibility of its businesses and locals employed in these sectors when projects are not delivered on time or terminated. It could also result in increased workplace health and safety concerns.

While the sectors press on with productivity initiatives, continued access to manpower across different professions and trades remains key to the transformation of the sector. To address the sectors’ needs for workers and mitigate the public health risk associated with entries, the sectors piloted a tightened end-to-end process to bring in trades workers from overseas.

The end-to-end process focuses on proactive testing of the workers through a COVID-19 testing regime over a 14-day period at specified on-boarding facilities at source country before departure for Singapore. Upon arriving in Singapore, workers will be subject to the prevailing Stay Home Notice (SHN), health protocols and safe management measures. This pilot programme aims to integrate the overseas training, testing and on-boarding process with Singapore’s on-arrival testing and SHN protocol to ensure the overall well-being of the workers before they are allowed to commence work.

Having observed no incidence of COVID-19 cases in the first few batches of workers entering from Malaysia in this pilot so far, the sectors will be trialling the entry of workers from India through the same tightened end-to-end process this month.

They will continue to carry this out in a small scale and calibrated manner, to better manage the risks involved and validate the robustness of the tightened end-to-end process. If successful, this model will be used to facilitate a steady inflow of workers in safely and securely.

– Construction+ Online

Source: The Singapore Contractors Associations Ltd