Abstracted from: gov.sg | Charting a path amid uncertain waters (www.gov.sg)
Setting sail into new waters
Another mid-career worker to undergo the PCP for Marine Engineers is George Wee. George is currently an assistant manager for production (marine and offshore engineering) at ICF International, a company that specialises in cruise ship solutions.
Previously a technical sales executive in precision engineering, the 39-year-old was recommended by a friend to join ICF International. “I did some research about cruise ship refurbishment and ICF. And since going on a cruise is often cheaper compared to flying, I thought the cruise industry would continue to do well,” George explains.
To ease his transition and plug the skills gaps, ICF International enrolled him in the PCP for Marine Engineer after getting the mid-career switcher onboard the company. George initially found the transition to a new field challenging.
“The work environment is totally different. I had to re-learn everything,” George recalls. As part of the PCP, George would regularly go aboard ships and learn from his mentors involved in ongoing projects. Besides that, he underwent a variety of courses, of durations ranging from a few days to two-weeks.
During overseas training stints in Germany and Finland, George also had the opportunity to experience working at large and established shipyards. “From ground zero, I got to see how things were being put together for large cruise ships.” George enthuses.
Back in Singapore, he is able to apply what he had learnt – for instance, he was involved in fabrication and steel work in the recent “Cruises to nowhere” that resumed in December 2020.
Looking back, George highlights the AutoCAD (a computer-aided tool that helps designers create drawings and design) course as being especially useful. “Previously, I was involved in sales, so I didn’t have much background in technical drawings. At my current workplace, I need to understand technical drawings to manufacture different products,” he says.
While he admits that it is tough to “move from your comfort zone into a new industry”, he urges others to persevere through the challenges.
“I encounter new problems quite regularly”, he laughs. “But I’m learning something new every day.”
PCP for mid-career workers
The Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) is a career conversion programme aimed at helping mid-career professionals undergo skills conversion to transit into new occupations and sectors.
Steven and George went through the redeployment and place-and-train modes of the PCP for the Marine Engineers respectively. Find out more about the programme here.
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