Enhancing workforce development in built environment sector to drive industry transformation
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Singapore – Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development & Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration, urged Built Environment (BE) leaders to strengthen the transformation of their firms and workforce, even as normal activity resumes in the sector. He emphasised the pivotal role of leaders in guiding, inspiring and motivating their teams, and also announced the publication of a study on the BE workforce. Additionally, BCA Academy will take on the role as the Continuing Education and Training (CET) Centre. Mr Lee was speaking to more than 300 sector leaders at the opening of the BuildSG LEAD Summit 2023 held at Sands Expo & Convention Centre on 11 May 2023.

Nurturing a future-ready and resilient workforce, led by a competent Singapore core, is one of the key enablers under the refreshed Built Environment Industry Transformation Map (BE ITM). This will allow the sector to be better prepared to respond to rapid advancements in technologies and drive industry transformation towards greater sustainability and productivity.

Nurturing a future-ready workforce
Supported by Workplace Singapore (WSG), BCA together with Ernst & Young Advisory Pte Ltd (EY) had conducted a study on the BE workforce. The study serves as the Jobs Transformation Map for the sector. Building on the BE Skills Framework, the study evaluated the impact of key trends on the BE workforce to identify necessary evolution by the BE workforce to drive industry transformation.

The study reaffirmed BCA’s approach for multi-stakeholder collaboration towards workforce development and made five key recommendations. This includes (1) accelerating the adoption of technology; (2) industry forerunners to lead BE value chain to drive upskilling and implement ITM skills; (3) jobs to be redesigned to drive workforce transformation; (4) enhancing BE sector’s attractiveness by changing people culture and practices; and (5) increasing focus on designing, curating and implementing programmes that provide exposure and experience for current and future workforce. BCA will continue to work closely with industry and Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) partners to nurture a future-ready BE workforce.

The study is published on BCA and WSG’s websites. Firms and individuals can reference the study to take charge of their career development journey and seize the opportunities that emerge alongside transformation of the BE sector. For instance, firms can identify emerging roles, such as Environmental Sustainability Engineer and Facility Management Data Analyst, and start to prepare their workforce to meet these demands; workers can utilise the various self-help dashboards to identify new skillsets they need to develop as they progress in their career or transition between different job roles in the sector.

Enhancing support for continuous learning
Given the rapid pace of change, there is a need to embrace continuous learning so that our workforce continually updates and refreshes their skillsets. When new jobs are created, our workforce will then be well equipped to take them on. To support these efforts, BCA Academy (BCAA) will also be taking on the role as the dedicated CET Centre for the BE sector. This will augment BCAA’s existing efforts to nurture a future ready workforce:

1. New courses, like robotics and automation, net zero carbon, smart and integrated facilities management, and collaborative contracting, will be launched to equip BE stakeholders with in-demand competencies. This will prioritise the training needs to enable the key transformation areas articulated in our BE ITM. To capture opportunities amidst rapid development of technology, the CET Centre will prioritise training in the areas of advanced adoption of digitalisation and data for improved information management across the value chain, as well as integration of technology for a more automated production of prefabricated components. In addition, the CET Centre will also curate programmes to support leadership development.

2. New Train-and-Place programmes, as well as courses under the SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme (SCTP), will also be introduced to help mid-careerists transit and pivot into the BE sector and help firms build up their talent pipeline. This will complement existing Career Conversion Programmes (CCPs) that support mid-careerists already in the BE sector.

3. Beyond supporting training at the individual level, BCAA will also provide support for enterprise development and transformation to maximise the gains from such efforts. As a CET Centre, BCAA will also be able to channel more resources to support BE firms to upskill their staff in emerging areas, including defraying training costs.