Reliefs extended to affected seafarers amidst COVID-19 impact till June 2021
Maritime Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) MaritimeSG Together package was introduced in May 2020 to assist companies and individuals during the pandemic, originally expiring on 31 December 2020. The $27 million package provides financial support to companies and seafarers, with emphasis on seafarers’ upgrading and employment.
Singaporean seafarers who face employment uncertainty due to tightened border controls and crew change restrictions will enjoy extended support from the pandemic’s impacts. Those facing employment difficulties between 1 Jan 2021 and 30 June 2021 are eligible to apply for the relief, which provides up to $700 monthly financial assistance capped at six months.
Focused on upskilling and digital transformation
With the relief expected to assist about 500 Singaporean seafarers, MPA said it has worked together with Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen for the extension. Along with the Employment and Employability Institute, an Achievement Award (AA) scheme will also be extended to reward eligible seafarers with up to $10,000 for successfully obtaining the Singapore-issued Certificate of Competency 1 and accumulating at least six months of working experience in senior ship board management.
To help seafarers remain relevant in the challenging times, MPA’s scheme to assist maritime companies to provide internship opportunities for Singaporeans or Permanent Residents has also been extended for another six months. MPA will continue to co-fund 50 per cent of internship allowance capped at $500/month per intern. Additionally, co-funding support of up to 90 per cent for selected training schemes to drive skills upgrading and digital transformation will also be extended for another six months.
The maritime industry reportedly contributes about seven per cent of Singapore’s gross domestic product and employs more than 170,000 workers, according to the MPA’s website. Click here for more information on the extension of the relief packages.