SINGAPORE: To help manufacturing companies meet their manpower demands and prepare for better economic times, the Government has rolled out more training places under its Professional Conversion Programme (PCP).
On Thursday (Nov 28), Manpower Minister Josephine Teo announced that the capacity of the manufacturing PCPs will increase by 1,000 over the next three years, specifically for two programmes: The PCP for Manufacturing Professional and the PCP for Technical Sales Engineer/Manager.
The two conversion programmes are aimed at equipping mid-career professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) with skills to take on roles in areas such as sales and operations management within the sector.
Since the manufacturing PCPs - there are four in total - were launched in November 2016, more than 1,400 people and 600 companies have tapped on it.
The conversion programmes help potential PMET mid-career switchers enter new industries by offering them training programmes and job placements. Companies that participate in it receive wage and training subsidies.
During her visit to precision engineering firm TranZplus Engineering, Mrs Teo said the Government ramped up the programme to help manufacturing firms meet their manpower needs as the sector transforms.
Companies are encouraged to make use of this period of moderated economic growth to develop their operations and prepare for new industry developments and the pick-up of the economy, she added.
Referring to the uptick in the employment rate revealed in the Labour Force in Singapore Advance Release report, Mrs Teo said that despite the current economic headwinds, there are still jobs available in companies like TranZplus.
As of june 2019, the manufacturing sector had about 6,000 vacancies.
Mrs Teo added that companies like TranZplus is going "through a process of building up themselves” by investing in digitalisation and automation.
“There is still scope for more to come into the manufacturing sector”, she said.
TranZplus’ founder Nelson Lim said the conversion programme has improved the company’s productivity. He said that investing in people was important to him and he planned to continue using the PCP to bring in people with expertise in quality assurance and sales.
To date, there are more than 100 PCPs in over 30 sectors.
Since 2016, more than 13,000 people have found employment through the career conversion programme, the Manpower Ministry said.
About nine in 10 of them remained in employment 12 to 18 months after being placed, and around two-thirds of those placed received wages higher than what they got in their previous jobs, the ministry added.