Mr. Suresh Natarajan, Principal, ITE College Central
Sister Caryn Lim, CEO, e2i
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I. Introduction: Electronics sector is a key contributor to economy
- Good morning and thank you for inviting me to this event.
- From our modest beginnings as the only TV assembly plant in Southeast Asia in the 1960s, Singapore's electronics industry has grown to become a vital node in the global electronics market. Today, if you pick up a mobile phone, computer, video game console or even use a car navigation system, there is a good chance that part of it was designed or made in Singapore. This is a testament to how the electronics industry has grown over the years.
- Locally, the Electronics sector forms the core of the Manufacturing sector.
- In 2021, Semiconductor sector alone contributed to 7% of Singapore’s GDP. Electronics, together with other manufacturing sectors contributed 22%, which is the biggest share of Singapore’s GDP.
- There are more than 68,000 workers in the electronics industry and this forms about 17% of total workforce in the Manufacturing sector.
- In the last decade, this sector has seen annual growth of 2 - 5% in productivity with explosive growth in electric vehicles and IoT devices.
- Globally, Singapore accounts for about 11% of the semiconductor market and 20% of semiconductor equipment manufacturing market.
II. Electronics sector offers many opportunities for workers, especially youth
- To date, Singapore has attracted some of the world’s biggest foundries and top outsourced semiconductor assembly and test companies. These companies had set up manufacturing facilities in Singapore, covering a spectrum of activities, such as R&D, manufacturing, supply chain management, logistics and regional and global headquarters functions etc.
- At the forefront of leading the industry 4.0 transformation, initiatives are designed and implemented to transform work processes, uplift job value and improve work conditions in the Electronics sector. These ongoing efforts have helped the sector to grow and transform, overcoming cyclical economic downturns. This is very exciting, as this will be able to create many career and growth opportunities for our workers, especially the youths.
III. 3 initiatives to grow strong core of Singapore workers in Electronics sector
1st initiative – Industry Job Portal + Job Fairs
- In alignment with the positive prospects of the Electronics sector in Singapore, ongoing initiatives in terms of training, placement and employability are implemented to support the youths, graduates and workers in this sector.
- The first initiative is a collaboration between NTUC’s e2i, Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA) and ITE, who work closely together to attract more ITE students and graduates to join the Semiconductor and Electronics industry.
- In January this year, NTUC’s e2i and SSIA launched the Semiconductor & Electronics Job Portal to support the development of a talent pipeline. The portal had featured about 250 vacancies from over 50 companies. Since its inception, more than 20 people have secured employment. I encourage all students and graduates looking for jobs in the Electronics sector to use this portal.
- Additionally, at the Electronics Career Fair held at the foyer, students and graduates can meet 15 hiring employers who are offering more than 500 job vacancies.
2nd initiative - ITE Work-Study Diploma (WSDip) in Microelectronics
- The second initiative is the Work-Study Diploma in Microelectronics programme launched in 2019.
- This programme provides ITE graduates a head start in their career while pursuing a diploma qualification. These trainees will receive practical training at their workplace guided by industry experts and continue to learn from qualified lecturers at ITE.
- On top of ITE students, the programme is also open to in-service employees. NTUC’s e2i will work with ITE and unions to encourage employers in the Electronics sector to send their in-service employees to the programme. This is to upskill our workers, enable them to be in touch with the latest technologies and increase workers’ career progression opportunities.
- There is a strong demand from the industry for the Work-Study Diploma in Microelectronics programme. Majority of the companies were foundries, assembly houses and test centres.
- To share one example, Mr Surendran K Kumaran had joined the first cohort of Work-Study Diploma in Microelectronics programme in 2019 and graduated as the top student. Surendran exhibited excellent work performance and attitude. Upon graduation from the programme, Surendran was promoted from Technical Assistant to Equipment Technician. His current role covers equipment maintenance, servicing, repairing and troubleshooting. We are very happy that this programme has enabled students and in-service employees to upgrade and upskill themselves for progression opportunities in the industry.
3rd initiative - Revamped ITE Microelectronics Training Centre
- The last initiative is the revamp of the Microelectronics Training Centre at ITE College Central, expanding the training space from 500m² to 700m².
- Training equipment was also upgraded to integrate IoT (Internet of Things), data and robotics for smart manufacturing training.
- Hence, students from ITE School of Electronics and InfoComm Technologies will be well-equipped with skills and knowledge in the latest technology when they enter the workforce.
- Today, we are happy to announce the launch of this new Microelectronics Training Centre.
IV. Call for NTUC CTC Grant
- Over the years, NTUC’s e2i has supported many companies through productivity grants to implement robotic arms, adopt various hardware and software as companies journey into smart factory.
- This year, we are pleased to introduce the NTUC CTC grant which will further engender the job redesign effort of our NTUC CTC company partner and its workforce. I would like to call out to all employers here to consider forming NTUC Company Training Committee and leverage on NTUC’s support and programmes.
- In closing, Singapore has a very diverse Electronics sector with the world’s major chipmakers anchoring manufacturing facilities here.
- Be it students, graduates and even mid-career switchers, the Electronics sector is one of the best sectors and the demand for skilled manpower to join this industry remains strong.
- People can look forward to a great career opportunity by tapping on the physical career fair organised by NTUC’s e2i and the SSIA-e2i Semiconductor & Electronics job portal.
- Many semiconductor companies have also come onboard to employ more ITE graduates and send their in-service employees for skills upgrading through the Work-Study Diploma programmes.
- To attendees of today’s seminar, thank you to all for coming together to support the semiconductor industry & workforce transformation!