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Singapore relaunches cadet training programme

Photo: SMOU SMOU LNY Luncheon 2024 Minister Chee Hong Tat Speech.jpg
Singapore is relaunching a cadet training programme provided jointly by unions, industry, and the authorities following a three-year hiatus.

The relaunch of the Tripartite Maritime Training Awards (TMTA) was announced by Singapore’s Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance, Chee Hong Tat, at the Singapore Maritime Officers Union (SMOU) Wavelink Annual Lunar New Year Luncheon on 14 February.

The rebooted programme covers both deck and engine combining two previous programmes – the Tripartite Nautical Training Award (TNTA) and Tripartite Engineering Training Award (TETA) – launched in 2009 and has trained over 400 cadets at the Wavelink Maritime Institute (WMI).  

The programme is a collaboration between SMOU, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), supported by the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA).

Minister Chee said the programme has a target to train 120 cadets over the next five years with the next cohort starting their training in September 2024.

“The relaunch of the TMTA programme demonstrates the strong commitment from tripartite partners to support the attraction and development of local seafaring talent,” he said.

The programme is designed both for graduates and those looking to make a mid-career switch providing course fee subsidies and training allowances for cadets working their way to Certificates of Competency (COC).

Mary Liew, General Secretary of SMOU, said, "This collaborative effort underscores our shared vision for a robust and thriving maritime sector in Singapore, powered by a skilled and dedicated workforce. The TMTA (Deck/Engine) programme provides a unique platform for individuals to launch fulfilling careers at sea and contribute to our nation's maritime legacy."

However, programmes such as TMTA only go a small way to providing for the seafaring requirements of Singapore, which operates the world’s fifth largest ship registry, and the country continues to invest in training for both local and international crew.

The Wavelink Maritime Institute has produced almost 20,000 qualified officers to date and Liew shared that its simulation centre was being upgraded to tackle decarbonisation with specialised training for future fuels such as methanol and ammonia.