Speech by Ms Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Trade and Industry, at the Skillsfuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP) for Logistics Completion Ceremony

Published Date: 04 January 2017 12:00 AM

News Speeches

Mr Yeo Li Pheow, Principal and CEO of Republic Polytechnic,

Mr Stanley Lim, Chairman, Singapore Logistics Association,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Introduction

1. Good afternoon! This was the first SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP) that I launched 15 months ago. Therefore, I am very happy to be back at Republic Polytechnic (RP) today to witness the graduation of the inaugural batch of 35 participants in the Logistics ELP.

2. I remember the excitement when I was here to launch the Logistics ELP at RP’s TechFest 2015. The highly anticipated programme had promised its participants an opportunity to earn a specialist diploma in Supply Chain Management while employed at a relevant company. The combination of classroom lessons with on-the-job experience would allow participants to immediately apply and reinforce their newly-acquired knowledge as well as gain relevant expertise in a sector that values operational experience. I’m sure all of us here would agree that our 35 graduands deserve a big round of applause for successfully completing the programme!

Logistics ELP Validated by Participating Companies

3. I am glad to learn that interest amongst individuals and companies to participate in the ELP is strong. I am confident that the Logistics ELP is on track to benefit at least 250 aspiring individuals by 2020, as part of the plans charted in the Logistics Industry Transformation Map (ITM) launched in November 2016 by Minister Iswaran . I also want to thank the inaugural batch of 15 companies for giving their support to this ELP. We are counting on them to spread the word among other companies to join and create more places for our graduates. We must also thank the mentors for guiding the participants, clarifying their doubts and deepening their interests. We hope they will continue this friendship and strengthen their bonds beyond the ELP. We must not forget to thank the Sector Coordinating Team (SCT) across five polytechnics for making this possible. The logistics sector is not just an important vertical sector but also an important horizontal enabler to support other critical sectors in Singapore. Logistics is no longer about moving boxes – it is a sector that is full of potential and promise, with good career opportunities.

4. I am especially heartened by feedback from the participating ELP companies that our Logistics ELP participants are of good calibre. The student participants not only displayed the requisite technical knowledge, some were even able to use what they have learnt to identify areas of improvement for the companies’ operations! I hope this encourages all of you to speak up when you see potential for improvements. Your fresh perspectives are appreciated and could make a big difference to the operations that you are part of!

5. The Logistics ELP has made strides in helping companies attract, develop and retain talent. The programme has allowed companies to gauge the potential of young talents and make longer-term plans for succession planning and talent development. So for those of you who have participated or are participating in the ELP, you have gained a great head start. Keep working hard and constantly upgrade your skillsets on-the-job learning and formal training. As you share your experience with your juniors and those around you, you are helping improve the quality of talents in the logistics industry! We do not have to be a teacher to teach or share. In sharing and teaching, we reinforce, distill and synthesise the knowledge and insights.

Role of Republic Polytechnic as the Logistics Sector Coordinator

6. We are committed to ensure that the logistic sector is well placed to create good jobs. This is why Minister Iswaran launched the Logistics ITM. It is one of the first out of the 23 sectors to roll out the ITM. As we put in place more programmes like the ELP, I hope that more diploma graduates will consider getting practical experience by entering the workforce before embarking on further studies.

7. To this end, I wish to thank and commend RP for being an effective Sector Coordinator for the Logistics sector. It is heartening to note that the Logistics SCT has successfully brokered the articulation of the Specialist Diploma in Supply Chain Management to relevant degrees at UniSIM’s Bachelor of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain and the Bachelor of Technology in Industrial & Management Engineering at NUS. On the Government’s end, the SkillsFuture Study Award for Logistics was also introduced last year. It offers eligible Singaporeans with a grant of S$5000 to pursue a relevant part-time degree at UniSIM or NUS. You do not need to rush into furthering your studies and frontload your study plans. Give yourself time to gain actual work experience which will allow you to reaffirm your interest in this sector. Then, make an informed decision to pursue relevant degree courses in order to further your career in the logistic sector.

8. The opportunities to gain industry know-how and on-the-job training are crucial in the logistics industry where knowledge and experience counts, than simply pure academic credentials.

9. On this note, it gives me pleasure to officially unveil the first Logistics Industry Career Guide today. The industry-led guide was developed by the Singapore Logistics Association (SLA), and supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board, SPRING Singapore, Workforce Singapore, the Logistics SCT and various industry partners. It provides aspiring individuals with insights into career opportunities and progression pathways in the logistics sector. Do pick up a copy of the guide at the schools and WSG’s and e2i’s career centres from the end this month. You can also find out more about the Logistics industry from the WSG or SLA’s website!

Conclusion

10. Once again, congratulations to the Logistics ELP graduands on your achievement. I wish you all the very best in your logistics career. Thank you.

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