Singapore’s MCF Training Grant ‘powerhouse’: setting a global bench mark

Singapore, strategically situated on the Malacca and Singapore Straits, has long been a centre of international trade and shipping. Foresight, long-term planning and positive leadership have taken Singapore to a position of global influence in these industries. A critical part of this process has been to develop a world standard Maritime Cluster of high quality shipping services and expertise. This requires that individuals and companies have access to high end training and education to obtain the knowledge and skills required to stay at the forefront of the maritime industry.

Singapore has powered on with support for its port and shipping stakeholders by way of the Maritime Port Authority’s (MPA) Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF). The MCF provides three essential components of industry support. These include MCF – Manpower Development for training, MCF – Business Development for new industries setting up in Singapore and MCF – Productivity for new productivity initiatives. The MCF budget is generous and the current support plan will continue on through to 2018 when it will undoubtedly be refreshed to meet new market needs and challenges.

The outcomes attained through MPA and MCF support for shipping undoubtedly contributed to Singapore’s 2017 selection by the Norwegian ‘Menon Report’ as the world’s leading maritime capital for the third consecutive time. The ‘Menon Report’ is a prestigious and widely-accepted study of the world’s leading maritime capitals. It considers 24 objective indicators and garners global survey responses from more than 250 industry experts. Singapore was ranked number one in the categories of Shipping, Ports and Logistics and Competitiveness and an impressive second place in Maritime Technology. In terms of return on MCF investment, the results speak for themselves.

SeaProf’s focus is on education and training in conjunction with its academic partners that include the BI Norwegian Business School, NTU and the Hamburg School of Business Administration. SeaProf also relies on the supporting expertise of name brand maritime service organisations including DNV GL, Elektrans, Fearnleys, NORD LB, Gard P&I, Willis Towers Watson and others. In terms of MCF ‘Short Course’ funding to participants, this has been on-going since 2010, benefitting the employers of almost 500 Singapore Citizens and PRs that have participated in the popular BI/SeaProf ‘Key Elements of Shipping’ 3-day intensive course that runs twice each year.

SeaProf has also benefitted and most of our KES participants are now from repeat customers such as Willhelmsen, Nordea, Nova Ships, Wartsila and other well-known Singapore companies. Our conclusion is that this strong base of customer satisfaction with KES learning and its relevance in supporting both career and productivity success has benefitted our customers as well. To use a hackneyed phrase, it’s been a ‘win-win’ for all concerned. With the help of the MCF’s on-going training grant support, SeaProf hopes that the KES course will serve a positive knowledge building function long into Singapore’s commanding maritime future.

In terms of monetary value, the full details of MCF training grant and other MCF industry support components are available at Maritime Cluster Fund. Take a look as it’s well worth your time to see what’s available and understand the eligibility criteria.

By way of a brief summary, the MCF grant & eligibility checklist for the KES course is as follows:

  • KES is an MCF pre-approved ‘Short Course’ & qualifies for a 50% grant on course fee.
  • Employer must be a Singapore registered company but individuals may also apply.
  • Applicants must be Singapore Citizens or PRs.

In addition to the MCF training grant of 50%, KES participants and their employers are also entitled to apply for an IRAS Productivity and Innovation Credit PIC) cash rebate of 40% on the balance of the course fee. Hurry though because this IRAS cash rebate expires in YA (Year of Assessment) 2018. In short, this means that if your financial year ends on 31 Dec 2017, you must submit your PIC application before this date. As such, it will be available to participants at the KES course scheduled for 10 -12 October 2017. However, it does not seem likely that the PIC cash rebate will continue next year.
By way of a summary of the grants and rebates available to KES participants and their employers, we would invite you to look at SeaProf’s net fee calculation that shows how the KES fee of SGD 3,725.00 can be reduced to a total net amount of SGD 1,117.50. Can you afford to NOT attend?

We look forward to seeing you and members of your team at the upcoming KES course scheduled for 10 -12 October 2017 in Singapore. The MCF training grant and the IRAS PIC cash rebate are available to support your foresight and investment in employee excellence.

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