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4 minute read

How to Prepare for a Lucrative Career in Advanced Manufacturing

As part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), commonly known as Industry 4.0, Singapore has been developing highly-innovative technologies and facilities to attract more world-class manufacturing companies to set up research centres and smart manufacturing buildings in Singapore. This has led to the creation of more high-value jobs for the local workforce, and started to transform attitudes towards a career in manufacturing.

Singapore is strategically located within a six-hour radius of any country in the Asia-Pacific region, making it an ideal regional hub for businesses, including manufacturers. Despite having limited natural resources, the country boosts pro-business policies and a rich talent pool to position itself as the top location for investments and innovation.

Why the shift towards advanced manufacturing? 

Advanced manufacturing uses emerging and innovative technologies such as automation to help companies manufacture products in a faster, better and more cost-efficient way. We are already starting to see more and more companies embracing advanced manufacturing technologies to streamline their manufacturing processes. With data properly collected and managed through a centralised system, companies would also be able to use real-time data to be more agile and prepared to meet anticipated market demands.

In addition to reducing energy usage and waste production, these new technologies and equipment can help companies attain their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals by helping business leaders accurately track and report on new sustainability metrics.

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Through research and development, verticals such as healthcare, aerospace and automotive are already adopting new technologies like additive manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing is more commonly known as 3D printing, robotics and artificial intelligence. The industry uses emerging technologies that allow them to build three-dimensional (3D) objects from digital designs using computer-controlled machines. It has many advantages over traditional methods of production, as they can help companies innovate and scale quicker while reducing costs.

Over time, we’ll see more manufacturing sectors such as food, textiles and metals adopt similar technologies.

How will advanced manufacturing change the skills and talent landscape? 

People tend to shun jobs in manufacturing because they appear laborious. Manufacturing facilities are also located away from the city’s bustle and hustle, which may take people longer to commute to work or head to social engagements after work.

However, the shift towards smart manufacturing could change the perception of the entire industry and our attitudes towards a career in manufacturing.

These days, manufacturing facilities look a lot more like research labs with the integration of robust R&D and emerging technologies. The nature of manufacturing jobs is also becoming more agile, meaning that employees would get the chance to work on multiple projects and use different equipment and technology throughout their careers.

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To help workers acquire new skills to optimise the use of advanced manufacturing technologies and stay competitive, companies are investing heavily in developing their human capital by actively hiring and developing their talent to use high-technology equipment.

Digital transformation could also make shift work a thing of the past, as employees would be able to operate the equipment and systems as well as generate reports from home.

It will require a combination of relevant skills and knowledge of advanced technologies to be successful within a manufacturing industry. Having in-demand skills would open up more career opportunities as more manufacturers ramp up their investments in building their additive manufacturing capabilities in Singapore.

Finding your future in advanced manufacturing

From engineering to design, manufacturing to assembly, organisations are eager to start creating new roles and departments to drive digital transformation. Having the right resources and capabilities in place means that companies will be better positioned to leverage any business opportunities that arise.

While some are hiring senior executives to take the lead on digital transformation, others are already scaling up their future workers and recruiting young professionals who possess relevant advanced skills for these new roles.

When you start using these technologies in a working environment, you’ll get to see how strategies come to life and acquire in-demand skills and valuable experience. The first-hand learning experience would better prepare you for future career developments in this space.

Be agile and prepared as you pursue your career in manufacturing

The advanced manufacturing sector is constantly evolving, with new technologies and processes being developed all the time. As manufacturing firms innovate and scale up their operations, there will be more jobs for those with the right digital skills.

If you’re interested in pursuing a lifetime career in advanced manufacturing, make sure you constantly upskill yourself and stay ahead of the curve. To succeed professionally in the advanced manufacturing workforce, one would need a wide range of relevant skills and qualifications and constant professional development.

There are numerous interesting job opportunities such as design engineers, project managers and quality specialists across several verticals with some of the smart manufacturing companies in Singapore. Read the job descriptions carefully to evaluate whether you have the right skills and knowledge for the opportunity and research the company to find out if it’s an environment where you can thrive.

To realise your full potential, be prepared to be an agile jobseeker.

This article is contributed by Randstad Singapore.

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