In efforts to prepare the electronics industry for manpower changes and growth in the future, Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA) have increased the training capacity of the Professional Conversion Programmes (PCP) for the industry.

This is expected to benefit an additional 1,000 professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) in the industry, over the next three and a half years from November 2019, in two programmes – the PCP for Electronics Engineer, and the PCP for Electronics Assistant Engineer.

This was announced by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo yesterday, at a ceremonial Lunar New Year Lohei with SSIA, attended by Human Resources Online.

Apart from the above, Minister Teo also announced the roll-out of a new Place-and-Train Programme for Electronics Operators, aimed at encouraging mid-career rank-and-file (RnF) workers to take on new or enhanced roles in the industry.

As a start, the programme will benefit 50 RnF jobseekers, and more places will be offered should there be a stronger demand.

In her speech, Minister Teo pointed out having workers with the right skills as “one of the most important drivers of any business transformation”, and that in a tight labour market like Singapore’s, building up a strong talent pool is “especially critical”.

Competition for scarce talent often results in poaching which is bad for industry growth, and ultimately bad for the workers, the minister noted. Instead, a better approach is to grow the skills pipeline to support industry expansion, she said.

Minister Teo added: “Given the varied job prospects of young graduands, many employers will still find this avenue to be inadequate. If this is the challenge you face, I urge you to seriously consider two additional sources of manpower.

“These are: mid-career switchers who possess years of working experience and soft skills such as leadership, communication and empathy; and your own employees who have intimate company-specific knowledge.”

Hence, the availability of programmes like the PCPs for the electronics industry, which has benefited more than 30 companies since 2016, with close to 900 PMETs hired and retrained in the process.

Commenting on the initiatives, Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive of WSG, said the agency is committed to “build a resilient workforce equipped with deep capabilities that can support the future needs of the electronics industry,” and will continue working with SSIA to plug any skills gaps and ensure electronics workers are equipped with the “right skills to stay ahead.”

“We also encourage employers to cast their sights further upstream and be ready to harness the opportunities when the eventual upturn arrives.”

Photo / Journalist’s own

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