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13,000 more govt-subsidised training places for employees in aerospace sector

SINGAPORE — Workers in the badly battered aerospace sector will have more opportunities for training over the next few months, as the Government is opening up more than 13,000 training places for aerospace employees and providing more financial subsidies for them.

13,000 more govt-subsidised training places for employees in aerospace sector

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing (second from right) and Ms Gan Siow Huang (second from left), Minister of State for Education and Manpower, visited Singapore Aero Engine Services on Sept 1, 2020.

  • Training providers such as the National University of Singapore will provide about 100 courses related to aerospace 
  • Mr Chan Chun Sing said the Government is making a long-term strategic investment in the aerospace sector
  • So far, 35,000 employees from 920 firms have benefited from the Enhanced Training Support Package 

 

SINGAPORE — Workers in the badly battered aerospace sector will have more opportunities for training over the next few months, as the Government is opening up more than 13,000 training places for aerospace employees and providing more financial subsidies for them.

Under the Enhanced Training Support Package for the aerospace sector, government agency SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) will, from now until the end of the year, provide employers who send their staff members to selected training programmes with:

  • Enhanced absentee payroll at 90 per cent of hourly basic salary, capped at S$10 an hour

  • Course fee support of up to 90 per cent of fees, up from 50 per cent

The expansion of the support package was announced by Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and Ms Gan Siow Huang, Minister of State for Education and Manpower, during a visit to aerospace company Singapore Aero Engine Services on Tuesday (Sept 1) morning. 

Speaking to reporters via video-conference during the visit, Mr Chan said that even though global demand for aerospace engineering services has ground to a virtual standstill, Singapore must be prepared for the industry’s eventual recovery.

“We all know that in the immediate term, there has been a very sharp fall in the global demand for such services... but having said that, we know that global aviation will pick up soon,” he said. 

“Even as we have lower demand now, we are making full use of the time to make sure that our workers are ready for the next lap.”

In a statement on Tuesday, SSG and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) said that the Enhanced Training Support Package will help the sector tide over the economic impact of Covid-19, encourage companies to upskill their employees and position themselves for recovery.

SSG and EDB said that they would work with appointed training partners to increase training capacity to cater to the needs of affected employees during this period. 

SSG is appointing five training providers that will offer about 100 courses for the sector. They are the National University of Singapore, NTUC (National Trades Union Congress) LearningHub, SIA (Singapore Airlines) Engineering Company, Singapore Technologies Engineering Aerospace, and Temasek Polytechnic.

These courses will help employees deepen their domain knowledge in the areas of aircraft maintenance, regulatory frameworks, and quality and safety management, as well as emerging skills such as automation and robotics, cyber security and data analytics, SSG and EDB said. 

Mr Chan said that the Government is making a “long-term strategic investment”, rather than focusing only on the short-term needs of the industry. 

“This is a very unique industry. It is not (one) that people can just easily join and pick up the qualifications and skill sets in a short time… Some of them may need two to three years of training before they can even finish their on-the-job training and then sign off as a qualified engineer,” he said. 

That is why the Government cannot adopt a short-term “feast-and-famine strategy”, where people stop undergoing training during periods of low demand and increase the frequency of their training only when demand rebounds. 

“These are not processes that can just be turned on and off. It requires time, it requires investment, it requires deep skill and knowledge, in order for us to design the processes, such that we can be ahead of our competitors,” Mr Chan added.

SSG's chief executive officer Ong Tze-Ch’in hopes that companies in the aerospace sector to take this period to improve the capabilities of their workforce. 

“Through this scheme, we hope that many workers in the aerospace sector will be given opportunities to widen and deepen their skills,” he added. 

EDB's managing director Chng Kai Fong said that while the impact of Covid-19 on the aerospace industry is severe and expected to continue for some time, it remains an important industry for Singapore.

"EDB will continue to partner aerospace companies to weather this period of difficulty, while preserving jobs and capabilities,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat introduced the Enhanced Training Support Package in February in his Budget statement. 

It has so far been rolled out to six sectors — tourism, air transport, retail, food services, land transport, and arts and culture — with 35,000 employees from 920 businesses filling nearly 84,000 training places. 

Sectors such as air transport and tourism have seen particularly strong uptake. The air transport sector has seen 31,000 training places filled, while in the tourism industry, 28,000 training places have been occupied, SSG and EDB said.                            

Related topics

aerospace training Chan Chun Sing SkillsFuture

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