Speech by Ms Gan Siow Huang, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, at the Launch of SIA Engineering Company Lean Academy

Published Date: 07 September 2021 08:48 PM

News Speeches

Mr Tang Kin Fei, Chairman, SIA Engineering Company

Mr Ng Chin Hwee, Chief Executive Officer, SIA Engineering Company

Mr Tay Tiang Guan, Deputy-Director General, CAAS

Distinguished guests,

Brothers and sisters of the Unions,

Ladies and gentlemen,

1. Good afternoon. Thank you for inviting me to the launch of SIAEC Lean Academy.

Positioning for Economic Recovery Through Enterprise and Workforce Transformation

2. The past two years have been challenging for our economy and our workers. The Covid-19 pandemic has tested our resilience and our adaptability. The aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) is an industry which continues to be battered by the COVID-19 crisis. We have witnessed how the more infectious COVID-19 Delta variant has dampened efforts to revive international air travel. Countries which had eased measures earlier have had to reinstate certain travel restrictions. Global recovery for the aerospace sector remains uncertain and is not expected to be smooth sailing in the months ahead.

3. Against the backdrop of lower business activity levels, the Government has continued to provide support to help companies press on with enterprise and workforce transformation efforts. The Enhanced Training Support Package (ETSP) is one such example. ETSP supports enterprises in need for capability upgrading to send their workers for sector-specific training programmes, with course fee grants and enhanced absentee payroll funding. As of 1 August 2021, more than 2,300 training places have been taken up by the companies in the aerospace sector. ETSP remains available until the end of this year.

4. Beyond the immediate term, employers need to re-think and re-orientate their business strategies to keep up with the accelerating pace of disruptions. Companies have to push on with efforts to increase workforce productivity, by re-designing work processes or even entire job roles to be less labour-intensive. For employees, they too will have to keep pace with the changes, refresh and update their skills, in order to stay relevant and employable in a rapidly changing economy.

5. Workforce transformation must go hand-in-hand with enterprise transformation. The steadfast commitment of employers towards workforce skills training is a key strategy to enable businesses to adapt, evolve and transform.

6. That is why under SkillsFuture, we are making a concerted push for employers to play a bigger and more active role in supporting skills upgrading of their workers. We will strengthen the enterprise pillar of our skills ecosystem, by supporting more enterprises, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to drive enterprise-led training and create a more nurturing learning environment for their employees. We are expanding our partnerships with SkillsFuture Queen Bee companies to uplift the capabilities of their respective sectors, by training beyond their own needs or aggregating demand across the sector for skills development programmes. We will also strengthen the capabilities of companies to deliver workplace training.

7. As the Government continues to invest more in our people, it is paramount that employers take ownership of the skills development for their employees and support them on the journey of lifelong learning. These efforts will ensure that our workers and companies are well-positioned to ride the wave of economic recovery and be ready to seize new opportunities for sustained growth.

The SIAEC Lean Academy

8. As one of Asia's leading MRO providers and an industry leader with deep sectoral knowledge, SIAEC has been a forerunner in the provision of enterprise-led training. The set-up of the Lean Academy is a move in the right direction. By empowering employees to improve operational efficiencies and achieve higher productivity, the Lean Academy will help SIAEC enhance service delivery and value to its customers, in turn strengthening the competitiveness of the company. On this note, I applaud SIAEC for seizing the opportunities amid this pandemic to press on with its transformation efforts.

9. While the Lean Academy will focus on training of staff within the SIAEC Group in the initial period, I am heartened to know that there are plans to extend the Lean training modules beyond its employees to the larger aerospace MRO community. I would like to strongly encourage this.

10. We need major companies like SIAEC to lean forward and help uplift the industry. Such an arrangement will enable workers across the industry to develop and apply relevant skills to improve processes at the workplace. Overall, this will enable the Singapore aerospace industry MRO hub to grow in a more sustainable and efficient manner and as an ecosystem.

Conclusion

11. Finally, I would like to congratulate SIAEC on the launch of the Lean Academy. I wish SIAEC all the success as it continues to make progress in its transformation journey.

12. Thank you.

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