SINGAPORE — Workers in the precision engineering (PE) field will soon get help from Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) with training and job searches as part of a pilot which seeks to better connect workers to training and firms.
NYP’s School of Engineering will lead efforts to understand the manpower and skills needs of companies in the sector, and review training programmes to meet industry needs, said Minister of State for Education and Manpower Gan Siow Huang on Tuesday.
Speaking in Parliament at the Budget debate for the Ministry of Education, she said NYP would be designated as a Jobs-Skills Integrator (JSIT) and receive government funding to run the pilot.
She was responding to Messrs Darryl David (Ang Mo Kio GRC), Sharael Taha (Pasir Ris-Punggol) who had asked for details on the JSIT scheme, which was first announced by Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong in his Budget statement.
The pilot for JSITs will also run in the wholesale trade and retail sectors, she said, adding that suitable intermediaries such as industry associations, employment agencies and institutes of higher learning will be appointed as JSITs.
She said more must be done at the industry-level to coordinate training and placement in sectors that are less regulated, and have more small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The PE sector, which has a high concentration of SMEs and mature workers, is known to have job vacancies that are unfilled.
Ms Gan added that while there are today organisations which provide training and match workers to jobs, there is value in appointing an entity to co-ordinate efforts.
A portion of the funding NYP receives will be based on its output, such as the number of companies and mature workers it supports. There will also be a performance-based component based on outcomes, such as the placement of jobseekers into PE companies.
She said: “Through this pilot, we hope to better meet the industry’s need for skilled workforce, while enabling more workers to take up upskilling to meet their career aspirations and to stay employable.”
Director of NYP’s School of Engineering Dr Phua Chee Teck said precision engineering supports many leading industries in Singapore, including the aerospace, semiconductor and biomedical sectors.
He told ST: “When you need a specific component to be cut, molded, polished or printed exact down to the micrometer – that is precision engineering.
“As the JSIT for the PE sector, we look forward to working closely with our partner agencies to coordinate and align the industry development plans and training needs for the sector.”
He added that NYP will also work closely with companies to develop an end-to-end process to train jobseekers and upskill existing employees, for them to thrive.