PUB’s non-graduate engineers going backwards?

Office workers walk through the central business district during lunch break.PHOTO: BLOOMBERGOffice workers walk through the central business district during lunch break.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Are our statutory boards living up to the call that skills and performance are more important than a degree, in recruitment and career development?

According to the PUB’s annual report 2016 – “PUB Engineer Scheme and Extended Executive Scheme

10 The PUB Engineer Scheme was launched on 1 July 2015. The objective of the scheme is to build engineering competency in PUB and to develop and increase the pool of engineers in PUB. The scheme provides better opportunities for career progression and development for engineers and TSOs who have shown their capabilities on their job, regardless of their paper qualifications. It also aims to provide better recognition and rewards to our officers undertaking engineering roles.

11 The PUB Extended Executive Scheme was launched on 1 August 2015. The extended EXS merges the non-engineering career track of our Executive Scheme (EXS), Management Support Officer (MSO) and Technical Support Officer (TSO) Schemes into one single career track. This will allow for all officers, regardless of qualifications, to be recruited, developed and progress along the same career track. Similar to the Engineer Scheme, our good non-graduate officers can then undertake managerial roles which are currently exclusive to graduate Executives.

12 In the Employee Engagement Survey 2016, we have added in four PUB specific questions regarding the new Engineer Scheme to see how it is received. The response is very favourable.”

I understand that in 2018 – the payment under the Engineers Market Adjustment Allowance (EMAA) which was introduced in 2016 – has changed.

Is this discriminatory against non-graduates?

It would seem that engineering staff are now effectively re-categorised, despite the ‘One Engineers Scheme’ which was implemented in 2015.

Are our statutory boards living up to the call since 2015 that a degree is not necessary, and that staff should be hired, paid and promoted based on skills, rather than their paper qualifications?

By the way, since PUB’s net income for FY2016 was $198.9 million, which was more than FY2015’s $166.8 million – it would appear that there should not be any cost pressures to reduce expenditure on human resource.

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.