Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on the Re-designing of Jobs for Older Home Team Officers by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 15 August 2016



Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs how are Home Team departments re-designing their jobs so that Home Team officers' efforts can be more productive and older officers can continue to be productive even in their later years.




1. The Home Team works in a dynamic operating environment. We face evolving threats and challenges which require us to develop new concepts of operations and capabilities.  There are also new opportunities presented by innovation and advances in technology.  We therefore regularly review and re-design our jobs in the Home Team to ensure they remain relevant in supporting our mission.


2. For example, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has redesigned the job of the Fire Rescue Specialist. Their Fire Rescue Specialists are now dual-trained in both fire-fighting skills and emergency medical technician (EMT) skills.  With the EMT skills, our fire fighters can also attend quickly to victims of fire and trauma incidents. This allows SCDF the flexibility of deploying a single set of personnel for both fire and rescue and improves the overall effectiveness of its operations.  Our fire fighters benefit as well.  They are now equipped with a wider range of professional skills. 


3. The Home Team also leverages innovation and technology to increase the productivity of our officers. For example, the Police Coast Guard (PCG) is exploring the use of Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs) to carry out localised surveillance patrols, project presence and intercept intruding vessels to enhance its response capabilities. With the use of USVs, the focus of PCG officers will be on critical maritime functions such as conducting anti-smuggling checks on vessels, without compromising security coverage and control of our waters. 


4. The Home Team values the experience, skills and knowledge of our officers.  The development of our officers is therefore a key priority, in particular to help them take on new roles and re-designed jobs effectively, In addition, we have also taken steps to retrain and redeploy older officers. For instance, in the Singapore Prisons Service (SPS), older officers with their wealth of knowledge are re-trained to take up new roles as Reintegration Officers to supervise offenders after their release into the community.


5. Job redesign is an on-going effort to ensure our jobs remain relevant and challenging and to enable Home Team officers to contribute effectively.  This way, the Home Team can continue to keep Singapore safe and secure.