Is Covid-19 creating a ‘job bubble’ in Singapore?

Last year, the Maritime and Offshore sector faced challenging times, hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and plunging oil prices that affected many offshore projects greatly. Towards the end of 2020 and continuing into 2021 we have seen a surge of open vacancies for Singapore -based engineering roles which is a positive sign that the industry is picking up. Specifically we have seen an increase in demand for Service Engineers to service both electrical and mechanical equipment on board vessels calling at Singapore.


Prior to Covid-19 many of our clients managed to service vessels by sending out their service engineers from headquarters, but due to travel restrictions, now they need to hire locally to meet the demands of their clients and ensure safety on board vessels. As Singapore remains the prime maritime hub it makes sense strategically for employers to hire more personnel here.


The surge in vacancies is for engineers in Singapore to attend to job assignments in our local shipyards or at anchorage. But the big questions are: Can the Singapore candidate market meet demand? Do we have enough qualified candidates to fill this gap? What will happen once the borders open and we can travel freely? Will these newly created positions be redundant?


At HELM we have been working on a variety of Engineering vacancies in the marine industry and it is obvious that this is a candidate short market locally. With some of our clients looking for engineers with both electrical and mechanical skills to avoid sending too many people out to the vessels, there is a real need for candidates that are open to learning new skills.


As we continue to watch how the border situation, the shipping market and naturally the job market develops, we are keen to hear your opinion on the matter.


Is this just a job bubble due to Covid?