As part of electronics transformation map initiated by Singapore government, about 2,000 jobs for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) will be rolled out in the sector by 2020.
Speaking at the launching of the roadmap on Wednesday (Sept 20), Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran said that the program aims to help firms attract new investments in high-value components. As one of key sector growth for the country’s economy, the ministry expects to expand the electronics sector to a manufacturing value-add of S$22.2 billion by the next three years.
According to the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), in 2015 the industry’s value add was about S$18.96 billion. In the following year, the sector accounted for 4.4 percent of the country’s GDP, as it generated S$90 billion in manufacturing output and absorbed about 70,000 talents to the workforce.
More than 20 sectors are set to undergo industry transformation maps during Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat’s Budget 2016 speech in March, Channel News Asia reports.
Mr Iswaran said that while mobile devices will continue to drive growth in the electronics sector, new areas such as self-driving vehicles, artificial intelligence and healthcare are expected to see significant development too. Therefore, electronics companies should broaden their competencies and innovate before jumping into these new areas.
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The emergence of advanced manufacturing will also transform the way electronics firms work and create new jobs for positions such as system engineers and automation technicians. By adopting new technologies, companies can gain competitive advantage with increasing productivity, reducing operating costs, and optimizing resources, he added.
The new Enterprise Singapore and EDB will foster collaborative projects between MNCs, SMEs, and start-ups to support companies with better access to the infrastructure. Additionally, organisations are also highly encouraged to join initiatives such as the Partnerships for Capability Transformation to transfer knowledge transfer, upgrade talent capability, as well as conduct joint development of new solutions.
Mr Iswaran also said that considering the short product life cycles in electronics, Singapore needs to be prepared to invest early in building infrastructure to support investments. For instance, EDB and JTC have secured AMS Sensors Asia as the anchor tenant for the JTC nanoSpace facility in Tampines Wafer Fab Park, which aims to support the growth of the country’s semiconductor manufacturing operations.
A skills framework to equip talents with the right skills to enter the electronics industry was also launched as part of the industry transformation map. Developed by SkillsFuture Singapore, Workforce Singapore (WSG), the economic agencies, industry stakeholders and the institutes of higher learning, the framework will provide information on the sector, career pathways, occupations and job roles. It will also identify skillsets required for specific areas such as robotics, automation, artificial intelligence and data analytics.
While four professional conversion programmes have been launched to enhance PMETs’ skills for the wafer fabrication and assembly and test sectors, the ministry will introduce two new ones on Friday for electronics engineers and electronics assistant engineers.
WSG and EDB will also hold a career fair next Monday, offering 600 jobs in the electronics industry, added Mr Iswaran.
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