Speech by Ms Gan Siow Huang, Minister of State, Ministry of Education at 10th SIMTech - SSG Graduation Ceremony 2021

Published Date: 24 November 2021 06:00 PM

News Speeches

Mr Frederick Chew, CEO A*STAR

Dr Michael Fung, Deputy Chief Executive (Industry), SSG

Industry partners, graduands, distinguished guests

Introduction

1. Good evening everyone. I am glad to be here today to celebrate the achievements of the graduates at the 10th Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) - SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) Graduation Ceremony 2021.

  1. This is a special day, as we celebrate SIMTech's largest ever cohort of over 900 graduands, including SIMTech's first graduating cohort from the SGUnited Skills Programme.

2. The last two years have been challenging. Businesses and individuals were impacted by the pandemic in different ways:

  1. Businesses had to adapt quickly.
  2. Similarly, individuals had to be nimble. The need to reskill or upskill has become more urgent as jobs and the economy evolve.

Developing a High-Quality Workforce Is Key to the Growth of the Manufacturing Sector

3. Earlier this year, the Government announced Singapore's 'Manufacturing 2030' vision to be a global business, innovation, and talent hub for advanced manufacturing.

  1. The manufacturing sector is a key engine of growth for Singapore's economy. It contributes to about one-fifth of our GDP, creates very good jobs and hires about 450,000 workers.

4. Singapore's manufacturing sector can only remain globally competitive if it is well supported by a workforce that is highly skilled and ready. We therefore need to ensure that we continue to have a pipeline of skilled manpower for the sector.

  1. This is not confined to just the recruitment of fresh graduates. Mid-career adults from adjacent industries are also a viable talent source, who can offer fresh perspectives from their prior experience.
  2. At the same time, we must invest in upskilling of the existing manufacturing workforce, so that they are equipped to support the sector's transformation.

5. Under the Next Bound of SkillsFuture, we will strengthen support for enterprise-led skills training for the workforce.

6. One example of an employer that actively supports their workers' skills upgrading is HP.

  1. HP has sent about 60 employees to various Advanced Manufacturing courses by SIMTech this year.
  2. Today, they are also the recipient of SIMTech's Best Industry Partner award.

7. I am heartened by the efforts of employers like HP, and I urge more companies, big and small, to play an active role in upgrading the skills of our workforce.

8. Employers can benefit from working with partners like SIMTech to upskill their employees.

  1. SIMTech's strong links to the Manufacturing sector enables them to ramp up training programmes in response to the sector's emerging skills needs under Industry 4.0.

9. In the coming months, SSG is working with several partners to offer more training programmes to better prepare our workforce for the future of the manufacturing sector.

  1. With guidance from the Advanced Manufacturing Training Academy (AMTA), SIMTech will launch eight new training programmes.
  2. This includes courses in industrial sustainability, which aim to equip individuals with the skillsets to assess their company's carbon footprints, improve energy management with analytics, and develop a holistic action plan for business sustainability. These are important skillsets given the increasing importance of sustainability.

Supporting Singaporeans to Seize New Opportunities to Reskill and Upskill - SGUnited Skills and SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme – Company Training

10. We will also push on with efforts to support mid-career individuals to upskill and reskill, so that they are well-positioned to pursue opportunities in the growth sectors.

  1. The SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support Package was launched at Budget 2020 for mid-careerists in their 40s and 50s to remain employable and undergo career transitions.
  2. The SGUnited Skills (SGUS) and SGUnited Mid-Career Pathway Programmes – Company Training (SGUP-CT) were launched in July last year to provide training opportunities for Singaporeans.

11. We have seen encouraging results in the manufacturing sector.

  1. As of end July 2021, close to 1,200 individuals have enrolled in manufacturing-related SGUS and SGUP-CT programmes.
  2. Across all the programmes, the job placement rate has been more than 50%.
  3. SIMTech in particular has achieved a job placement rate of close to 60%. Well done.

Award Recipients Who Have Worked Hard to Capture Good Opportunities in the Manufacturing Sector

12. We encourage mid-careerists to take ownership of their skills upgrading. Today, we will be recognising graduates from SIMTech who have been exemplary in their upskilling journey.

13. Let me share two stories here. Firstly, we have Mr Noor Muhammad bin Noor Khalid – one of the award recipients for the "Most Resilient SGUnited Skills Trainee".

  1. Noor took up an SGUS programme in the hope of securing employment in the manufacturing sector, tapping on his prior experience as a Quality and Reliability Engineer.
  2. He juggled various commitments while he was undergoing full-time training for nine months.
  3. His performance during the project module impressed the partner company, Akribis ['air-kree-bis'] Systems, so much that he was offered a job in robotics systems development upon completion of the SGUS Programme for Industrial Automation.

14. Another story to highlight is award recipient Mr Ajay Jain, who won the "Most Inspiring Trainee" award.

  1. Ajay saw potential to advocate for change in his senior role as Finance Director, and was part of HP's pioneer batch of trainees that completed the Digital Transformation & Innovation course and Advanced Manufacturing Digital Leadership course.
  2. With SIMTech's mentoring, he led trainees in the company to explore nine different areas of transformation. Today, he is a leading advocate of digital transformation at HP. Well done.

Conclusion

15. Once again, I would like to congratulate all the graduands on your achievements. I wish you all the best in your skills development journey, and I look forward to your contributions in the manufacturing sector. I also want to wish SIMTech all the best as it continues to support the enterprise and workforce transformation efforts in the manufacturing sector.

16. Thank you.

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