Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) has appointed Adrian Lau as regional human resources and organisation development director, Asia Pacific, with a focus on driving the company’s performance culture, talent management, and training and development.
Singapore is one of the world’s leading maritime industry centres but is facing challenges in attracting and retaining the staff needed to maintain this position. The Lion City is also critical to the WSS safety service business, which is growing at a rate of 15 percent per year.
A combination of aging workforce and the need to recruit 20-25 safety service technicians over the next three to five years has prompted WSS to build capacity in its own training resources. Adrian says that maintaining profitability at a time of rising costs requires the company to invest in people and upgrade skills.
“We need to make sure we have the right talent to do the job well, hire the right candidates and invest in their development as they take on different projects and roles,” he says.
“The apprenticeship programme we have in Singapore is a good example of how we hire people from various backgrounds to undergo a structured programme to demonstrate the required proficiencies before going on to more complex and challenging work. It is also a process that helps to identify talents that can be developed through the organisation.”
“Apart from Singapore, the same training programme is available in Shanghai to cater for the demands in Northern Asia,” Adrian explains.
“We take pride in our people across all business units. At the group level, we have a team of experts who design and implement training programmes and leadership development courses. We work closely with them to develop programs that cater for local needs.”
With 15 years in Human Resources, Adrian brings extensive experience to the Asia Pacific region. He was previously Human Resources Director in Tyco Fire Protection Products, overseeing all HR aspects in Asia Pacific, with a strong focus on driving strategic people investments and ensuring performance and a value-driven culture. Before Tyco Fire Protection Products, he was the HR Business Partner at Rolls Royce Marine, Asia Pacific.
Adrian says he is excited to be back in the maritime industry and is looking forward to working in challenging market conditions and see the role as an opportunity to optimise resources and employees in the most effective manner.
“Our success is our people. The knowledge they possess and quality of service they provide to the customer is critical and this can only be driven by a high performing culture where staff are equipped with the competence to do their job well.”