SINGAPORE: Engineers in the public sector can look forward to better pay, with opportunities to develop their skills and move up the career ladder, Acting Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean announced on Tuesday (Feb 16).
Speaking at the official opening ceremony of a new building at the Institution of Engineers Singapore, Mr Teo said these measures were part of efforts to build up the talent pool and grow capabilities in the engineering field within the public service.
On the Government’s part, Mr Teo said an additional 1,000 engineers will be hired this year which will increase the current manpower by over 13 percent. He added that manpower will continue to be expanded next year.
He added that salaries for fresh graduates entering the profession as well as engineers already in the public service will also be revised, to ensure they are fairly compensated for their work. It is also to keep pace with market benchmarks.
Mr Teo pointed out that these measures come are more quality engineers are required to do more than just designing, building, operating and maintaining public infrastructure and systems.
"More and more public sector engineers will need to work across agency boundaries to provide holistic and integrated solutions with their strong systems engineering and technical leadership skills," he said.
There will also be a greater focus on training. For example, engineers in ministries and public agencies will receive structured training to help them refresh and upgrade their skills while an upcoming leadership programme will train those with deep expertise to take up leadership roles.
ENGINEERING PLAYS CRUCIAL ROLE IN COUNTRY'S DEVELOPMENT
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said late last week that Singapore must make engineering more attractive as a career.
Meanwhile, those in the industry welcomed the measures, especially the salary review. President of The Institution of Engineers, Singapore Chong Kee Sen said: “This has always been an issue for people who believe that we are not adequately remunerated. So, relooking at the salary structure is a good start so that we can really appreciate the contribution of the engineers.”
With Singapore transitioning into an innovation economy, Mr Teo said these measures will further support growth in the engineering sector which continues to play a crucial role in the country's development.
According to Mr Teo, this means enhancing capabilities in newer engineering and multi-disciplinary fields such as bio-engineering, nanotechnology, aerospace and renewable energy.
Mr Teo said that in light of the country's Smart Nation vision, there was a need to drive high value-added, knowledge-intensive activities.
"These will help to continue creating good jobs for Singaporeans. Engineering will also allow us to develop new solutions to optimise our resources and provide better living."