A total of 51 scholarships worth more than S$1.4 million were awarded this year, as part of continuous outreach and talent development efforts to meet the manpower needs of the growing Singapore maritime industry - an area which contributes to some 7 per cent of the nation's economy.
Sponsored by maritime companies and organisations, the MaritimeONE (Maritime Outreach NEtwork) scholarships and Tripartite Maritime Scholarship Scheme (TMSS) support various local and overseas diploma and degree programmes. In all, 40 MaritimeONE and 11 TMSS scholarships were presented at the MaritimeONE Scholarship Awards Ceremony held at the M Hotel Singapore this evening.
Funds for the MaritimeONE Scholarships are pledged by sponsoring maritime companies, which span from shipping lines, shipyards to maritime ancillary service companies. This year, 18 companies sponsored 40 MaritimeONE scholarships valued at more than S$815,000.
Sponsoring companies this year include "K" Line Pte Ltd; American Bureau of Shipping; Fednav Singapore Pte Ltd; Global Maritime Talent Pte Ltd; Haider Nawaz (personal sponsorship); IMC Industrial Group; Jurong Port Pte Ltd;
Lloyd's Register Foundation; NORDEN Shipping (Singapore) Pte Ltd; Sembcorp Marine Ltd; Singapore Maritime Academy - Singapore Polytechnic; Singapore Maritime Officers' Union; Singapore Shipping Association; SMTC Global (Singapore) Pte Ltd; Swire Pacific Offshore Operations (Pte) Ltd; The Chua Chor Teck Memorial Fund; Thome Ship Management Pte Ltd and X-PRESS FEEDERS.
MaritimeONE scholars are able to choose from a wide spectrum of 22 courses - 19 business, law and engineering degrees offered by eight local and overseas universities, as well as three maritime diploma programmes at the Singapore Maritime Academy in Singapore Polytechnic.
Since 2007, a total of 200 MaritimeONE scholarships worth more than S$5.2 million have been awarded to outstanding students to pursue courses in Singapore and overseas.
"Growing the maritime talent pool in Singapore is key to building a future-ready Maritime Singapore as we develop our International Maritime Centre and Next Generation Port. We are encouraged by the unwavering support and commitment by our maritime community - our MaritimeONE partners, the maritime companies, unions, and institutes of higher learning, to strengthen our maritime manpower development efforts," said Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, who delivered the welcome address at the awards ceremony.
Ms Koh Ke Hui, 18, a SSA - MaritimeONE Scholar, is amongst the new batch of scholars who received their awards this evening. Although she was diagnosed from birth with Achondroplasia (a bone growth disorder that causes disproportionate dwarfism), she never allowed her physical condition to stand in her way. In fact, her passion to lead and serve led her to becoming class chairperson twice in secondary school. A cheerful go-getter, Ms Koh set her heart on joining the maritime industry, and she aimed to enrol in the Diploma in Maritime Business (DMB) at Singapore Polytechnic, when she researched her options after the "O" levels.
Currently in her first-year in the DMB course, Ms Koh has this to say, "After the first month of school, I was even more convinced that I had made the right choice in taking up Maritime Business after learning more about how the maritime industry works. I know I will enjoy my future work, and I want to be part of Singapore's maritime industry in the years to come."
Another new scholar this year is Mr Benny Tan, 24, a "K" Line - MaritimeONE scholar. Mr Tan decided to make the switch to the maritime industry and take up the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Maritime Studies at the Nanyang Technological University, after completing his diploma programme in Optometry. He said, "Having done my research and after speaking to people, I am convinced that there are great opportunities for me in the maritime industry after I graduate, given the importance of shipping to world trade, and the pivotal roles that Asia and Singapore play. I am looking forward to the possible travel and work opportunities overseas in my future maritime career."
A total of 11 TMSS scholarships were also awarded at the ceremony this evening, valued at over S $600,000, for students enrolled in the Nautical Studies and Marine Engineering diploma programmes offered at the Singapore Maritime Academy in Singapore Polytechnic.
The TMSS scholarships are jointly awarded by MPA, shipping companies, the Singapore Maritime Officers' Union (SMOU) and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS). This year, the shipping companies co-sponsoring the TMSS scholarships are APL Co Pte Ltd, PACC Ship Managers Pte Ltd and Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd.