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Contractors' body sets four targets to transform industry

14 September 18 | The Business Times


THE Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) has unveiled four key targets for itself, in line with the Construction Industry Transformation Map (ITM).

They are:

  • Expanding services in its proposed construction hub;
  • Enhancing the programmes and services of its subsidiaries to support business development;
  • Creating more partnership and alliances; and
  • Strengthening the capabilities of its secretariat.

SCAL president Kenneth Loo also announced at the association's annual dinner the launch of an award for workplace safety and health. Companies that are presented this award would have a good workplace health and safety track record, and would not have been issued stop-work orders, or been placed under surveillance by the authorities.

Applications for the award open in April 2019.

Mr Loo said: "Construction companies today continue to grapple with rising business costs, increasing competition and tighter regulatory controls. Even as we remain hopeful with a pipeline of construction projects ahead - given the series of en-bloc developments and major infrastructure projects such as the North-South Corridor, Changi Airport Terminal 5 and upgrading plans for public housing - there is a need to close the gap between these current challenges and what we hope to achieve in the ITM."

To enhance its physical facilities, SCAL will expand the services offered in its upcoming construction hub; these will include a business helpdesk and networking spaces.

The hub will also showcase new construction methods and productive technologies. Mr Loo said the hub can also house other construction-related trade associations to facilitate greater collaboration along the value chain.

SCAL's subsidiaries - SC2, SCAL Academy and SCAL Resources - will enhance their programmes and services. For example, SC2 will develop new capabilities for inspection and certification for manufacturing and assembly, or design for manufacturing assembly (DfMA) components and processes. SCAL Academy will cover areas such as DfMA and virtual design and construction in its curriculum.

Mr Loo also said that SCAL will forge closer partnerships and strategic alliances with local and foreign companies; it will work closely with government agencies to facilitate the adoption of labour-efficient designs and construction methods along the entire value chain.

The association will develop its secretariat capabilities through professional training on essential skills.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who gave a speech at the dinner, said the construction sector is facing challenges, such as an ageing population and shrinking labour force, as well as emergence of new technologies.

But he expressed optimism at how the sector has made good progress in spite of difficult domestic market conditions. For instance, there have been promising results in site productivity improvement.

"The DfMA adoption rate, which doubled in 2017 from the 10 per cent in 2016, cumulatively stands at 12 per cent as of 2017 over 2010 levels. We will work more closely with all of you to achieve our target of at least 20 per cent by 2020," he said.