Hefty subsidies of up to 90 per cent for SMEs to upskill manufacturing workforce

February 23, 201610:22 am394 views
Hefty subsidies of up to 90 per cent for SMEs to upskill manufacturing workforce
TODAY file photo

A new series of classes will soon allow professionals, managers and executives to gain insights into the work in advanced robotics and automation, additive manufacturing, big data analytics and computing, optical and laser engineering, and advanced materials.

The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), together with five partners, have developed a set of advanced manufacturing masterclasses, workshops and events that will benefit more than 400 Singaporeans from various manufacturing sectors.

The first class, Masterclass in Optical Engineering, conducted by the Centre for Optical and Laser Engineering, will start next Monday (Feb 29).

Professor Anand Asundi, the centre’s director, said this would introduce participants to optical engineering, and what it can do for the precision engineering sector because a lot of precision engineering involves design, manufacturing and testing of samples with very high resolutions.

Ms Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry, said Singapore has to remain a key global player in manufacturing, and the industry today contributes about a fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product, employing more than half a million workers.

She was present on Monday at the signing of the ‘Future Skills for Advanced Manufacturing’ memorandum of understanding between the WDA and its partners, which includes the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre, Institute of High Performance Computing, Nanyang Polytechnic, and Singapore Centre for 3D Printing.

For Mr Ken Teng, the masterclasses offered by the institutes, such as at the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre, would help his workers develop their skills further in the areas of precision cleaning with robotic systems. He is the director of AmpTec Industrial Heating, which specialises in industrial heating and cleaning services.

Ms Low said that the masterclasses would enable workers to take advantage of new and exciting job opportunities in advanced manufacturing, which would “require specialised, cutting-edge skills”.

Mr Ng Cher Pong, chief executive of WDA, acknowledged the intensive global competition that Singapore faces in the manufacturing sector, adding that it is “critical that the industry is an early adopter of such game-changing technologies”.

He said: “The advance manufacturing series seeks to help companies adopt manpower-lean technologies, strengthen their capabilities, and equip their workforce with the skills to be future-ready.”

Employers sending their workers to the masterclasses may receive funding of up to 70 per cent from the WDA, while small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may get up to 90 per cent subsidies on the cost of programmes, which will be progressively rolled out over the second to fourth quarter of this year. WDA will work with its five partners to review the list of programmes available to ensure its relevance beyond 2016.

news source & image credits: todayonline.com

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