A Skilled Workforce that Embraces Innovation for the Built Environment

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

- Launch of the Built Environment Living Lab Framework (BE LLF) to facilitate test-bedding of innovative proposals in our urban spaces and living environment.

- Skills Framework for Built Environment provides a common skills language for Built Environment stakeholders, covering eight career tracks and 49 key job roles.

Mr Tan Kiat How, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office and in the Ministry of National Development, launched the Built Environment Living Lab Framework (BE LLF) today to facilitate test-bedding of innovative proposals in urban spaces and our living environment, such as at Punggol Town and Jurong Lake Gardens. He also announced that the Skills Framework for Built Environment (BE) is ready for adoption by the sector. The Skills Framework aims to provide a common skills language for stakeholders in the BE sector. It encapsulates comprehensive information about the sector, career pathways, occupations and job roles, skills and competencies required for each job role, as well as a list of training programmes available to help facilitate skills upgrading and mastery.

2        Speaking at “CEOs in Conversation”, the final plenary of the International Built Environment Week (IBEW) 2020, Mr Tan said that while almost all construction projects have resumed, all stakeholders had to stay united and vigilant in efforts to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 infections. He stressed the need to reduce the sector’s reliance on a large foreign workforce in order to build greater resilience against future disruptions, adding that greater adoption of technology and innovation would help accelerate the sector’s transformation efforts, while at the same time creating higher skilled and better jobs in the sector.

Encouraging Innovative Solutions for the Built Environment

3        The BE LLF will make it easier for firms to test out new, innovative solutions that could benefit the Built Environment. All BE firms and technology solution providers can submit their proposals to the Built Environment Technology Alliance (BETA), which will be the “one-stop” shop to manage all test-bedding proposals. Good proposals with innovative solutions and ready for deployment will be expedited for test-bedding in living spaces, where possible. To provide firms with greater confidence to innovate, the government will support firms to navigate regulatory clearance processes and, where necessary, introduce a ‘regulatory sandbox[1]’ for proposals that may not be allowed under current regulations (see Annex A).

Skilled and Capable BE Workforce

4        Our innovation and transformation efforts in the BE sector will need to be supported by a skilled and capable workforce. BCA, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) have worked closely with trade associations and chambers (TACs), unions, professional boards, employers and educational institutions, to develop the Skills Framework for Built Environment (see Annex B).

5        The Skills Framework for Built Environment covers 49 job roles in the Built Environment sector across eight career tracks such as Architectural Consultancy and Design, Engineering Consultancy and Design and Quantity Surveying. It helps BE companies and existing professionals as well as prospective new employees to the sector identify career progression pathways and the skills needed to stay relevant, especially for new jobs arising from industry transformation that require new skills. For example, an individual interested in joining the sector as a Digital Delivery professional could use the framework to determine the skills and courses he or she needs for the job role. Another example is existing employees using the framework to understand the skills and training needed to upskill in digitalisation. BE firms can improve their capabilities and HR practices by taking reference from the Skills Framework for their recruitment and talent management strategies, as well as to provide more career advancement opportunities based on the skills and competencies of their employees.

6        The Skills Framework identifies 163 existing and emerging technical skills and competencies to capture the evolving technology and industry trends, and its impact on jobs and skills in the sector. Education and training providers can use the framework to curate programmes that are aligned to the needs of the industry. For example, BCA Academy’s Diploma (Conversion) in Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD) course under the SGUnited Skills programme can help jobseekers prepare for the role of Specialist (Digital Delivery) as defined in the framework, or help existing BE professionals to upskill their knowledge in IDD. There are existing training programmes and upcoming new programmes that support industry transformation skills. A full list of training programmes with skills mapping will be ready by end 2020.

7        The Government is also working with relevant TACs to establish various accreditation schemes that align with the Skills Framework. Moving forward, the Skills Framework and accreditation schemes can help employers and industry partners to better differentiate and identify individuals with the relevant skill sets when procuring BE services. More details will be made available when ready.

8            Mr Hugh Lim, BCA CEO, said “We have seen the benefits of technology adoption and innovation in overcoming some of the challenges posed by COVID-19. Our firms must continue to embrace new innovations to remain competitive, and deal with challenges posed by COVID-19. As part of our industry transformation efforts for the Built Environment, we have been placing close attention and focus on ensuring good and meaningful jobs for Singaporeans. The Skills Framework for Built Environment will support our collective desire to have a skilled and progressive workforce, to support our shared ambitions for the sector. Through industry transformation and innovation, anchored by a dedicated and capable core of Singaporeans, we will be able to overcome the current challenges and emerge stronger together.”

[1] Regulatory sandboxes create “safe spaces” where firms may be granted temporary regulatory waivers to test their innovative solutions.

Download PDF version of the Media Release here
Download Annexes here
Download Skills Framework for Built Environment - Career Pathways

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