"ASPRI will continue to work closely with knowledge partners and various Singapore economic agencies to educate our members and seek opportunities to pilot and testbed emerging solutions which have scalability potential in the low-carbon future."
What have been the developments at ASPRI in the past year?
In the past year, COVID-19 and its variants have continued to disrupt Singapore and the Process Industry. ASPRI recognizes the impact of these manpower disruptions and is committed to helping our members navigate them.
Since June 2020, ASPRI with the support of the Singapore Chemicals Industry Council (SCIC), key plant owners and contractor members established a Cohorting Workgroup to align industry recommendations on workers’ cohorting arrangements across Safe workplace, accommodation and transportation. Various government agencies have since heeded well to the joint advocacy by ASPRI and SCIC, responding to the concerns raised by the industry and accorded flexibility in many aspects of COVID Safe Measures Management and policies.
Severe border restrictions and closures have disrupted traditional manpower supply models and to alleviate the severe manpower shortage, ASPRI partook in the Change of Employers (COE) program since Aug 2020 to facilitate the transfer of migrant workers within the industry and reduce the incidence of worker poaching by mediating between old and new employers.
In Aug 2021, ASPRI together with Fullerton Health Group piloted an end-to-end bubble wrap initiative to bring in workers safely from India for the Process Industry. The success of this pilot initiative has opened up the pathway to enable more employers to bring in workers from India.
What is the progress within the goals specified in the Industry Digital Plan?
To help members further index and assess their current level of digitalization and benchmark their company against the industry peers, ASPRI will roll out a PCM industry Digital Readiness Index (DRI) in the second half of 2022. Upon completion of the DRI, members will receive an individual report with detailed action steps enabling a wider perspective when developing their digitalization strategies and plans.
Can you share with our audience ASPRI’s training initiatives and achievements?
Since April 2020, the ASPRI-Institute of Process Industry (ASPRI-IPI) has successfully developed and rolled out 42 complimentary E-training courses to the Process industry.
With all workers having access to 4G-enabled smartphones, E-learning is now widely accessible and has become the new normal. In the 12 months period Apr ‘20 to Mar ‘21, ASPRI-IPI’s IPI-Connect app has received more than 25,000 unique trainees, fulfilled 70,000 e-training places and achieved more than 199,000 E-training hours.
How can the process industry achieve higher productivity and what are the main existing bottlenecks?
Enterprise Singapore launched a Productive Safe Restart Scheme (PSRS) in Sep 2020, aimed at accelerating technology adoption and business model transformation for longer term sector competitiveness. PSRS provides up to 80% support for qualifying project costs. These projects should result in tangible productivity improvements and reduce reliance on foreign labor in their workforce.
The Singapore government announced adjustments to work pass policies in Feb 2022 to spur greater productivity improvements and support more manpower-efficient solutions in the process industry. Worker levies will also be revised to incentivize employers to upskill and retain productive workers.
While the Singapore government has been generous and conscientious in nudging the industry to achieve higher productivity, companies have an important role to realize this national agenda.
This year, ASPRI is turning 25. How has the association evolved to reflect the changes in the market?
In the last decade, ASPRI’s close partnership with government agencies and plant owners helped realized the ASPRI-Westlite Papan dormitory at the doorstep of Jurong Island to improve workers' productivity and reduce travelling fatigue. In the last two years the association has remained agile to support the evolving manpower needs of the industry.
Today, ASPRI is an apex trade association that represents the interests of more than 550 corporate members in the process industry. The association will continue to be cognizant and tuned in to the evolving needs of our members.
Do you have a final message?
The industry will transit toward a sustainable and low-carbon future.
The Sustainable Jurong Island report (published in Nov 2021) outlines Singapore’s aspirations for the Energy & Chemicals (E&C) sector to achieve more than 6 million tonnes of carbon abatement per annum from low-carbon solutions by 2050 and increase its output of sustainable products by four times from 2019 levels.
ASPRI will continue to work closely with knowledge partners and various Singapore economic agencies to educate our members and seek opportunities to pilot and testbed emerging solutions that have scalability potential in the low-carbon future.