Opening Speech By Mr Desmond Tan, Minister Of State For Sustainability and the Environment, at The Launch Of Temasek Polytechnic’s Training And Certification Course For Chiller Technicians On 15 September 2021
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon to everyone here, as well as those who are attending this launch over Zoom. I am delighted to be here for the launch of Temasek Polytechnic (TP)’s inaugural refrigerant handling course for chiller technicians. This is a very important course, as it marks another step towards our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to realise our Singapore Green Plan 2030.
2 This course is a combination of efforts by TP, the National Environment Agency (NEA), and industry partners. After months of hard work, they have put together a course that is specially tailored and customised for our chiller technicians. This course will allow our technicians to obtain additional skillsets and be more efficient and effective in carrying out their jobs.
Mitigating HFC emissions
3 This course is an important effort to mitigate our hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions, which are harmful to the environment. Two days ago, the Environmental Protection and Management (Amendment) Bill was passed by Parliament, allowing us to better mitigate the harmful effects of HFCs.
4 There are three parts to the suite of comprehensive measures introduced in the Bill:
- First, banning the supply of HFC refrigerants in refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) equipment, starting from the end of next year;
- Second, training of competent technicians to carry out installation, maintenance, and decommissioning works on RAC equipment;
- Third, controlling the disposal of spent refrigerants and ensuring that they are properly handled after the decommissioning of RAC equipment.
Encouraging lifelong learning
5 HFCs account for a sizeable share of Singapore’s greenhouse gas emissions. This course not only upgrades the skills of our technicians. More importantly, it helps to mitigate the harmful effects of greenhouse gases in our environment. It also provides more than just training for our technicians. It supports another aspect of our national agenda, which is lifelong learning. I am very happy that TP has been championing continuous education and training for our mid-career technicians. We have also put in the effort to make this course more accessible to our chiller technicians. Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who wish to upgrade themselves in this aspect can tap on subsidies of up to 90 per cent, and use their SkillsFuture credits to pay for the rest of the course.
6 Through this course, technicians will gain added competencies, which will support them in seeking better employment opportunities and career prospects. This forms part of the lifelong learning ecosystem to support Singaporeans in continuous upskilling, and to help our population adapt to the needs of the economy. Since the launch of the SkillsFuture initiative, we have put in place additional elements, including expanding the availability of work-study programmes, supporting our small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and attending to the needs of mid-career workers. We encourage all Singaporeans to be fully plugged into the system and acquire evolving and relevant skills to keep up with the industry.
Whole-of nation effort towards sustainability
7 Building a sustainable Singapore requires the collective efforts of all stakeholders. Earlier this year, we launched the Green Plan. This is a national movement to galvanise the whole of Singapore – whether it is individuals, families, communities, businesses, or industries – to come together to fight climate change. This whole-of-nation sustainability agenda can only be realised if everybody plays their part in the fight against climate change. In this regard, I am pleased to see TP’s efforts to support the Green Plan — not just in the campus infrastructure, in the programmes that you are rolling out, in working with industry partners, but also in educating your staff and students on day-to-day sustainable living efforts. Thank you, TP, for your fine efforts. I hope you will continue to support not just the training of our mid-career workers, but also the Green plan and our sustainability efforts.
8 Once again, I would like to commend and thank TP, NEA, as well as industry partners for working together to develop this course. I encourage all chiller servicing companies to enrol your technicians, and to do your part in upskilling your workforce and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions for a more sustainable and greener Singapore.
9 Thank you.