Minister for trade and industry S Iswaran has today launched the Electronics Industry Transformation Map (ITM) at the opening of JTC nanoSpace @ Tampines. Developed by a multi-agency team with industry partners, unions and trade associations; the ITM maps out strategies that will build the electronics industry of tomorrow. Through the ITM efforts, the industry is expected to achieve a manufacturing value-add of S$22.2 billion and introduce 2,100 new PMET jobs by 2020.
In the release, it stated: “To equip Singaporeans with the necessary skills to take on these jobs, SSG, WSG and the economic agencies, together with industry stakeholders such as employers, industry associations, unions, and education and training institutions have launched the Skills Framework for Electronics.”
The skills framework identifies two career pathways - the technical and engineering track, and the management track – covering 29 job roles, which individuals can explore career growth along or across.
Additionally, it provides key information on the sector and lists the 58 skills and competencies required, that include emerging skills and competencies, and the relevant training programmes for them. Emerging skills and competencies identified include those in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), data analytics, robotics and automation. The local workforce would need to ready themselves with these skills to meet upcoming challenges facing the industry.
Other than that, the skills framework also informs of other key initiatives which support those in the electronics industry on their skills and career journey. These include the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme, Enhanced Internship, Singapore Industry Scholarships and Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs).
To support the shift towards higher value jobs, two new PCPs for the electronics industry were launched to prepare Singaporean PMETs with the necessary skills and also concurrently reskill talent from other sectors.
The PCP for Electronics Engineer and the PCP for Electronics Assistant Engineer are in addition to four existing PCPs rolled out in 2016 to reskill PMETs for the wafer fabrication, and assembly and test sectors. The four existing PCPs have since benefited close to 130 PMETs.
On the other hand, EDB and WSG will be co-organising an Adapt and Grow Career Fair for the electronics sector on 26 September with 20 companies offering more than 600 job vacancies.
A key sector of growth for Singapore’s economy poised for continual growth, the electronics industry has since transformed to the manufacture of high-value components. The release stated: “The emergence of new applications areas such as autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and healthcare, which are enabled by electronics, has brought about new growth opportunities for the industry.”
According to the release, the ITM has identified a two-pronged strategy to ensure the continual growth of the electronics industry:
- To diversify into new growth markets
- To transform the existing base of electronics manufacturing and attract new investments in high-value components
The ITM will also focus on growing a strong pipeline of local talent, and upgrading the industry associations to better support the industry.
Diversifying into new growth markets
As reported, the government will strengthen the innovation ecosystem to harness new growth opportunities and support companies in developing new capabilities. It said: “Singapore will convene multi-party innovation platforms to create new solutions and shorten innovation cycles.”
“This will bring together MNCs, SMEs and public agencies, to collaborate and develop new solutions,” it continued.
Taking the Nanyang Polytechnic’s IoT Open Innovation Community as an example, the network was set up in 2015 with SPRING’s support to enable SMEs to connect with technology and commercialisation partners, research institutions and other industry players for co-innovation.
Today, there are more than 150 members on this platform coming together to jointly develop new IoT solutions. More technology platforms will be set up to help companies bring ideas into products.
Meanwhile, the government will also foster collaborative projects between MNCs, SMEs and startups to better support enterprises. They are encouraged to leverage the Partnerships for Capability Transformation (PACT) scheme for knowledge transfer, capability upgrading and co-development of new solutions. To enable enterprise growth, support is available to incubators and accelerators through the Startup SG Accelerator programme by SPRING to catalyse growth opportunities for IoT and electronics startups.
Growing electronics manufacturing
“The provision of future-ready infrastructure is key to enabling companies to make investment decisions quickly and JTC nanoSpace is a prime example of this,” the press release stated. On that note, the government will work with companies to improve their manufacturing efficiency and adopt advanced manufacturing technologies.
According to the release, this will bring about an increase in manufacturing productivity by reducing operating costs and optimising resources. In fact, the ITM targets for 100% of manufacturing plants in Singapore to be best-in-class compared to their global operations. Advanced manufacturing will also bring about new skilled job roles in manufacturing such as system engineers and automation technicians.
Lead Photo / Ministry of Trade and Industry
Infographics / Ministry of Trade and Industry