It’s cool to be in chemicals!

The Chemical Industry Manpower Advisory Committee (CHIMAC) is a steering committee formed by the Singapore Chemical Industry Council (SCIC), industry partners, and the Economic Development Board (EDB) to look at manpower needs in the chemical industry. One of the key objectives of CHIMAC is to attract and improve retention of people being trained initially as process operators. HR Manager, Quee May Tan explains how LISPL is helping this important initiative.

Quee May explained: “The aim of this specific initiative is to ensure that those who have the most contact with students during their time in education are best able to guide and provide career information on what the chemical industry is really like and what opportunities it can offer. Last year, as part of a pilot program to improve the understanding of our industry, we hosted a small group of ‘educators’ (teachers, lecturers, careers advisors) from various Singapore polytechnics and the Institute for Technical Education (ITE), who visited the site to get a first-hand feel for what it is like to work on a manufacturing plant.”

Now in its second year, LISPL is one of four companies involved in piloting this engagement program – the others being Shell Chemicals, Dow and Chevron Oronite. This year 11 representatives came from five institutions: Singapore, Temasek, Nanyang and Ngee Ann Polytechnics and from ITE.

During their time at LISPL, the visitors interacted with our staff who are at various stages of their careers. Each took time to describe their background, what it’s like to work in the chemical industry on a daily basis, what their role entails and what they’ve achieved. The visit also included a site tour and, most importantly, a series of focused group discussions where the visitors were able to ask questions, share ideas and deepen their understanding of the potential opportunities for their students.

Quee May concluded: “We had some great feedback from our visitors, who said they particularly enjoyed the sharing and focus group discussions with our staff, which gave them a better understanding about the chemical industry, the attributes we are looking for in a technician, and the career paths that are available. We hope through this one-day engagement program, we are able to enhance the educators’ current understanding of our industry in general and, more specifically about the technologies, actual working environment, nature of the jobs, career progression, career opportunities, job challenges and welfare.

“Judging by the comments from our own staff, it seems that the visit had a positive impact on our own people too! Feedback included:

‘I am glad that I can share with them my experience and I hope that they can impart my experience and the information to their students.’

‘Awesome! I felt like I was the star being interviewed and I hope the sharing of my experience in the chemical industry can help students better.’

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