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Singapore Manufacturing Jobs Are on the Rise: Why You Should Consider a Career in the Sector

Singapore’s Manufacturing 2030 initiative is making good progress, with the sector growing rapidly, and creating local jobs. Learn more about the sector here, and what roles are available.

The Singapore government is targeting manufacturing as a key sector within the next decade, creating good jobs for locals.

Speaking on the third day of the Committee of Supply 2022 in Parliament, Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong revealed that Singapore’s Manufacturing 2030 initiative, is “already making good progress”, with the sector growing by 13% since its launch last year.

It has also received $8.5billion in total fixed asset investment, which will create more than 6,000 jobs locally.

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This initiative has been well-received by multinational corporations (MNCs). British technology company Dyson announced plans to invest $1.5 billion in its Singapore operations over the next four years, during the official opening of its new global headquarters at St James Power Station in March 2022.

“Dyson’s expansion here is possible because of the wonderful inventiveness and enthusiasm of the Singaporean engineers and scientists who have joined us,” said founder and chairman James Dyson at the event, according to reports by CNA.

“You can feel the ambition of this ingenious country. It reaffirms our belief that Singapore is the right place for high-tech, research-intensive businesses.”

He added: “Singapore is at the centre of our global supply chain. We research, design and develop products here. We have research programmes with your outstanding universities. For these reasons, it’s our global headquarters.”

It currently employs over 1,400 locally and plans to hire more than 250 engineers and scientists across robotics, machine learning, and other areas, as well as establish a new global cybersecurity centre in Singapore.

Other manufacturers are also taking note of Singapore’s attractiveness as a hub. Aircraft engine makers Pratt and Whitney announced early 2022 that they will be hiring another 250 full-time staff locally, in addition to the 250 new workers brought in in 2021.

The new hires will span various roles, such as engineers, technicians and production associates.

Manufacturing is moving forward from Covid-19 and hiring

Tim Cormier, Pratt and Whitney’s vice-president of aftermarket operations in Asia Pacific, said to The Straits Times that the move would bring their headcount back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.

The US-based company had employed about 2,000 workers in Singapore before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cormier said the firm’s business has picked up, thanks to strong recovery for flights within domestic markets overseas and a rise in demand for air cargo transportation.

Other aerospace firms such as GE Aviation, ST Engineering, and Rolls-Royce have also stepped up hiring locally, as the international and regional aviation and travel sectors rebounds in the aftermath of Covid-19.

Another industry moving forward from the pandemic is semiconductor manufacturing. Hit by both supply chain and manpower issues, a global chip shortage that is still dragging on since late 2020 has affected other manufacturers worldwide. The situation hurts their ability to build anything, from cars to consumer goods, and has caused prices to rise.

As such, ASM, a supplier of semiconductor process equipment, has expanded its operations in Singapore, unveiling a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and operations hub in March 2022.

Singapore Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry Dr Tan See Leng, who attended the launch, said: “Beyond boosting its manufacturing capabilities and capacity, ASM’s expansion will also advance Singapore’s semiconductor sector by creating many new jobs and business opportunities.”

The company has increased its local headcount by 250% in the last five years, and its international president and chief executive Benjamin Loh added: “Backed by strong government support, Singapore is the ideal location for our global operations, tapping into its highly-educated workforce and leveraging the extensive supply chain ecosystem in the region.”

What kind of roles and income can employees and jobseekers expect?

This positive outlook is translating into a competitive job market for those in, or looking to enter, the manufacturing industry, provided they have the right skills.

In the case of the semiconductor market, a recent 2022 talent and bonus report that covers the manufacturing sector by global recruitment company Randstad reveals a recruitment landscape that favours employees and workers.

According to the report, even while other regions are struggling to meet demand in the semiconductor market, the Asian markets remain deep-rooted in a highly resilient and connected ecosystem, mainly through back-end processes such as assembly, testing and packaging.

However, the global chip shortage “continues to put a tremendous amount of pressure on chip manufacturers.”

“Many manufacturing firms are expanding their workforce to clear the backlogs that were accumulated during the pandemic, as well as meet increasing demands,” Randstad revealed.

In Singapore, the industry is also facing stiff challenges in hiring, as a result of a decreasing number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates, and many jobseekers with relevant qualifications being tempted into other industries.

Local employers are “hence more likely to offer attractive salaries and bonuses to entice talent from other companies” and will “bid to retain their workforce to meet increased workloads and address labour shortages,” the report shares.

In addition, Randstad believes that certain roles in the manufacturing sector will be more sought-after than others in the coming years, particularly in electrical engineering, electric design, quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) positions.

Excited about being or joining the manufacturing industry? Read on below for more information on various roles, and types of companies that are worth considering as part of your career planning.

What’s it Like Working in the Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Industry?

4 New Manufacturing Jobs to Consider in 2022

Electronics Manufacturing Jobs in Singapore: What’s the Outlook and Prospects?

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