Maritime Singapore represents the entire eco-system of the vibrant and dynamic maritime industry in Singapore. Comprising more than 5,000 maritime establishments, the industry employs over 170,000 people.
The driving force behind Maritime Singapore is the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). MPA shoulders multiple roles as a Port Authority, Regulator, Planner, National Maritime Representative and International Maritime Centre (IMC) Champion.
Committed to maintaining Maritime Singapore’s competitiveness, MPA is constantly seeking new areas of development and is currently implementing the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM). We hear from MPA Overseas Undergraduate Scholars, Jason Ho and Natasha Teh, on how the MPA is preparing Maritime Singapore for the future. Jason is Manager for Industry Manpower Development at MPA, while Natasha is still undertaking her undergraduate studies.
What piqued your interest to join MPA?
Jason: I chose a career with MPA because of my deep interest in economics, especially in the topic of international trade. When seaborne trade accounts for 90% of world trade in terms of volume, there is no better place to start my career other than MPA.
Natasha: While the maritime sector is niche, it is dynamic and vibrant, and essential to Singapore’s economic success. Maritime Singapore is a necessary and crucial pillar of our economy as it allows for trade with the rest of the world. I chose to join MPA as I am interested in our organisation’s role in building Singapore into a thriving renowned international maritime centre, and ensuring our maritime sector remains future ready.
Natasha Teh Jia Yen
MPA Overseas Undergraduate Scholar
Bachelor of Science in Government and Economics
London School of Economics and Political Science
Share how you have contributed to the transformation of Maritime Singapore.
Jason: I contribute to the planning of manpower in the industry by analysing global, local and industry trends and forecasting their impact on the quantity and quality of maritime manpower demand and supply. Maintaining this delicate balance is key, as it ensures that Singapore’s maritime workforce remains competitive, competent and relevant. This contributes towards one of the goals of MPA’s Future-Ready framework as well as our tripartite efforts under the Jobs & Skills pillar of the Sea Transport ITM. The Sea Transport ITM is led by MPA and co-driven by industry, unions and other partnering agencies. It is one of the 23 ITMs under the $4.5 billion national Industry Transformation Programme to adopt a targeted and industry-specific approach towards economic restructuring.
In addition, I have also had the privilege to be part of the organising secretariat of the IMC2030 Strategic Review. In this Strategic Review, we drew on the lessons learnt from our industry development efforts for the past 15 years. After analysing the impact of global trends and developments, we charted a new set of strategies to develop Maritime Singapore as the Global Maritime Hub of Connectivity, Innovation and Talent. I am proud that at the end of a yearlong effort, we have arrived at a clear set of strategies that will be guiding our IMC promotion work in the years ahead.
Natasha: As an intern, I was part of the planning team for the annual Management Advance event. This is an event where MPA departments came together and brainstormed ideas to help MPA transform itself and innovate to stay relevant and lead Singapore in its maritime mission.
This means that we are continuously adapting to leverage current trends, as well as strategically improving to remain competitive. I find the work very meaningful as it enables me to contribute to Singapore’s success through this key industry, and to be part of the legacy of a forward-looking Maritime Singapore.
Jason Ho Hon Sum
MPA Overseas Undergraduate Scholar
Manager, Industry Manpower Development
What were some of the opportunities you have received from an overseas education?
Jason: When I was reading my Master’s in Washington D.C, I had the chance to meet and interact with prominent policy makers and academics from different countries at think tanks and international organisations. The insights that I garnered from these exchanges were extremely valuable as they added a practical dimension to what I had studied in school.
Natasha: Studying in London has allowed me to be part of a diverse international community, broadening my worldview by exposing me to a dynamic environment. Furthermore, I get a better understanding of the important unfolding real-world issues in Europe like Brexit, which is particularly interesting as it is related to my degree in Government and Economics. Of course, this impacts the maritime sector as well, such as through its impact on shifts in demand for maritime services.
Any insights about working in MPA?
Jason: MPA is also a dynamic organisation as there is hardly a dull moment in our work as change is constant. We are, after all, regulating and developing an industry that operates on a 24/7 basis to ensure that goods and services are transported in the most cost-efficient and reliable way.
Natasha: Scholars can expect to receive good guidance from senior colleagues, who are willing to share their insights and understanding of the industry, as well as providing helpful advice. Scholars can also expect to be part of an open community with a culture of sharing and collaboration. Lastly, they will find that the MPA family has a sense of camaraderie and has fun times such as celebrating Hari Raya, and holding enjoyable staff engagement activities such as Fun-Fit-Friday.