With the drastic changes in the employment direction locally in Singapore for the year 2020, the Ministry of Manpower have implemented various strategies such as (but not limited to) the “Extended Fair Consideration Practice” on job applications and the “increased salary criteria for work passes”. The intention for these strategies is to promote the employment of Singaporeans and / or Singaporean Permanent Residents as the core workforce. This core workforce will then be complemented by a diverse foreign workforce.
Chris Lawrence, Business Manager at Atlas Professionals Singapore, elaborates: “In addition, with increased travel restrictions imposed due to the COVID pandemic, the risks involved in bringing in foreign talents are much higher. Hence, we at Atlas Professionals Singapore are shifting resources more and more towards Permanent Recruitment and Executive Search business for Singaporeans as well as our Singaporean Permanent Residents.”
Even though the focus is on the local workforce, he stresses that the office does welcome any foreign professionals with relevant and extensive work experience who are interested to work in Singapore, to also apply. “Moreover, we will maintain as the hub for recruitment in Energy, Marine and Renewables in the APAC region,” says Lawrence.
Contributing to regional business
Chris is an experienced Operations Manager with demonstrated history in the maritime industry and sees working at a recruitment company as an excellent way of contributing to society. “With a dedicated Renewables team to focus on recruitment across all organisational layers of offshore wind to support the development of the Renewables sector in Asia-Pacific, we are also contributing to a greener future,” he says.
Atlas’ Singapore office has evolved in recent years. While it was largely focused on the provision of marine professionals in the past, its services now have expanded substantially. “Currently we provide regional Renewables, Survey and ROV, Diving & Inspection professionals, as well as Drilling and Catering teams. In addition, we provide multiple onshore roles in Project Management and QHSE. As such, we support other Atlas offices with regional expertise from our network,” says Chris. “For example, we have offices in the UK focusing on Renewables, ROV, Diving and Inspection and Survey. Working as a team, we make certain our clients get access to the largest pool of professionals globally within a 24-hour time frame.”
“With the renewables market developing in the region, we also see an increase in the survey market associated with it. There have been a lot of geophysical and geotechnical surveys taking place, mainly in Taiwan, over the last few months,” he says. This is set to increase further in the next year or two according to Chris, creating not only a demand for additional professionals but also, assets within the Asia Pacific region.
Building a talent pool
The team in Singapore is equipped to tackle the increased local requirements in the Asia-Pacific region. They often organise local recruitment events to meet the demand for local, skilled professionals. For example, they had organised a recruitment day in Sabah which attracted more than 350 offshore professionals.
The team is currently looking into organising software and hardware trainings. Chris explains that, in Indonesia, for example, there will be an increased demand for professionals with a particular cable-laying software knowledge. This is due to the growing requirement of subsea cables that need to be installed over the next few years to connect all the islands. As such, these trainings facilitate the development of local expertise.
Ensuring that the team has the right expertise and knowledge in understanding the wide range of disciplines the office supports, has been a key focus. Hence the team is made up of individuals with relevant experience from the different business lines. “For example, the individual managing the Marine division has prior relevant experience in different operational and managerial roles within that industry,” says Chris. Next to this, he sees the local knowledge of the team as a key advantage. “Local Permanent Recruitment and Executive Search is only possible when your team has the knowledge of the market and familiarity of the local talent pool,” he concludes.