Fueling his interest with e2i and Stolthaven Singapore’s Place-and-Train programme

Fueling his interest with e2i and Stolthaven Singapore’s Place-and-Train programme

Thanks to a Place-and-Train Programme in his company, one individual is embarking on a rewarding career in the oil and gas industry.  

Muhammad Norshafiq Mohammad Sairi’s interest in the oil and gas industry was sparked when he was mobilised to fight a fire on Pulau Bukom, while serving National Service as a fireman. Singapore’s oil refineries are located on the island.

That experience got the 27-year-old, or Shafiq as he’s known to peers, interested in the process behind how crude oil gets refined into a variety of different products, such as petrol and diesel. Shafiq subsequently pursued a course in Chemical Process Technology in ITE which enabled him to secure a job with Stolthaven Singapore, a storage facility for chemicals, clean petroleum products and gas.

Learning the ropes

Under the company’s Place-and-Train programme supported by e2i, Shafiq joined the company as a trainee, learning the roles and responsibilities of the job systematically before getting promoted to the role of terminal operator.

“It’s not as easy as it looks because in school, everything is lego-sized, like a learning playground. When I first joined, things were a bit difficult because the terminal is highly automated. You can operate the valves from the control room itself, so it is different from what I learnt in school. It is easier because we don’t have to operate it manually, but we still need to check on the equipment and maintain them.

“The real thing is a lot more challenging where we know we cannot afford any mistakes because of the consequences. I got to experience different roles here, such as berthing of loading ships as a berth master, loading trucks and handling of the storage tanks,” he shared.

Staying ahead

In his two and a half years he’s been with the company, Shafiq has had to be open-minded in learning new things in order to do his job well. Fortunately for the United Workers of Petroleum Industry member, the union’s representative in the company is a close team-mate whom he often turns to for advice on work and training matters.

“Experience-wise now, I’m just at 50 per cent. I’m currently learning how to be a boardman where I work in control room operations. The next step for me is taking up a diploma in Chemical Process Technology. I am also thinking of taking up courses that can benefit me at work. My aim is to learn new things and widen my options and ultimately be a better terminal operator,” he said.

e2i works with our partners to develop Place-and-Train pilot programmes to help address manpower shortages in many industries and to tackle skills-gaps among job seekers interested in taking on the available jobs. Contact an industry specialist to find out how e2i can help your business. This article was published on 30 July 2017 on NTUC This Week. Image credit: Jonathan Tan.

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