6 in 10 engineers hired are Singaporeans and PRs: MOM

April 6, 201610:04 am854 views

There were 122,500 people employed as engineers as of June 2015, of which six in 10 were locals, said Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck in Parliament on Tuesday (Apr 5).

Mr Teo was responding to a question by MP Lee Bee Wah, who wanted to find out how many engineers are currently working in Singapore and how many of these were locals, permanent residents and foreigners.

“Engineers play a crucial role in Singapore, and are needed to improve our infrastructure, grow key sectors such as manufacturing and telecommunications, and drive the Smart Nation initiative,” he said.

Mr Teo added that by developing more attractive pathways and strengthening the professional recognition and accreditation of engineering skills and expertise, the ministry aims to attract more locals to join the profession.

He echoed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s call to make engineering more attractive as a career. Perceptions about engineering need to change, if Singapore is to follow in the footsteps of Silicon Valley, as well as attract Singaporeans based there to return home, he said, during his visit to the United States in February this year.

MOE PROMOTING INTEREST AMONG STUDENTS: ONG YE KUNG

Meanwhile, in a written Parliamentary reply to Ms Lee, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung said the Ministry of Education (MOE) also has initiatives to interest students at various levels to take up engineering as a course of study.

The Applied Learning Programmes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is offered in more than 50 per cent of secondary schools, Mr Ong said.

This enables students to apply their knowledge and skills in authentic situations, to address real-world problems and offer opportunities to interact with engineering professionals, he added.

Polytechnics also regularly organise activities and events, such as engineering competitions and seminars, offering education and career guidance, Mr Ong said. These events raise awareness among students of the progression opportunities of a polytechnic education in engineering.

At the university level, Mr Ong said MOE has introduced more options for the study of engineering to attract a wider pool of students. These options include new degree programmes and the establishment of the Singapore University of Technology and Design, which is an “engineering- and design-centric research university”.

Mr Ong added that the ministry works closely with economic agencies to ensure the supply of engineering places in the Institute of Technical Education, polytechnics and autonomous universities is aligned with the yearly demand for manpower in the engineering industry.

For example, with greater demand for engineers in recent year, the number of full-time engineering graduates from autonomous universities has increased from 3,700 in 2012 to a projected 4,400 this year.

“With greater exposure upstream and a variety of engineering programmes, more students will be able to develop an interest in engineering and pursue it at the tertiary level,” he said.

news source: channelnewsasia.com

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