There is good news for Singaporeans as about 2,000 jobs for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) will be created in the electronics sector by 2020. Further, the electronic sector will grow to a manufacturing value-add on of SGD22.2 billion by the same year. This was asserted by S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) while launching the Electronics Industry Transformation Map (ITM) today, which basically lays the framework to develop the electronics industry of Singapore.
Singaporean government had announced plans to develop industry transformation maps for more than 20 sectors during Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's Budget 2016 speech in March.
For driving the electronics sector, the Minister said, “The Electronics ITM sets out a two-pronged strategy to grow the industry. Firstly, Singapore will diversify into new growth opportunities in the electronics sector. Secondly, we will transform the current base of electronics manufacturing and attract new investments in high-value components.”
He said, “To diversify into new growth opportunities, the government will strengthen the innovation ecosystem to better support companies in developing new capabilities. Our economic agencies will organise multi-party innovation platforms that will bring together MNCs, SMEs, as well as research institutions and institutes of higher learning, to collaborate and develop new solutions.”
The Minister gave the example of Nanyang Polytechnic’s IoT Open Innovation Community, a network that was set up in 2015 to enable SMEs to co-innovate with technology and commercialisation partners, research institutions and other industry players. Today, there are more than 150 members on this platform, who come together to jointly develop new IoT solutions.
The new Enterprise Singapore and the Economic Development Board will foster collaborative projects between multinational corporations, small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups.
He also urged that companies should make use of initiatives like the Partnerships for Capability Transformation for knowledge transfer, capability upgrading and joint development of new solutions.
Iswaran said, “Singapore must also be prepared to invest early in building infrastructure to support investments given the short product life cycles in electronics.”
For example, he said, EDB and JTC secured AMS Sensors Asia as the anchor tenant for the JTC nanoSpace facility in Tampines Wafer Fab Park, which will support the growth of the country’s semiconductor manufacturing operations.
The Minister observed electronic companies will need to broaden their capabilities and innovate to participate in new emerging areas of self-driving vehicles, artificial intelligence and healthcare which will rely heavily on electronics too.
He predicted that the emergence of advanced manufacturing will also transform the way electronics companies work and create new jobs for positions like system engineers and automation technicians.
A skill framework to prepare people with the right skill to enter the electronic industry, as part of the Industry Transformation Map was also launched today. This is an integral part of the Electronics ITM, developed by SkillsFuture Singapore, Workforce Singapore and the economic agencies, together with industry stakeholders such as employers, industry associations, unions, and the institutes of higher learning.
The Minister said, “The Skills Framework provides key information on the electronics sector, career pathways, occupations and job roles. It also identifies emerging skills and competencies for the sector in the areas of robotics and automation, artificial intelligence and data analytics.