Over 13,000 training places for aerospace sector workers
Courses on topics such as aircraft maintenance, analytics and robotics also come with higher subsidies
Workers in the aerospace sector can now access more training courses with higher rates of subsidies.
More than 13,000 training places across about 100 courses will be made available to the sector. The training will cover topics such as aircraft maintenance, analytics and robotics operation.
Workers who go for the training will continue to receive their pay during the training period, with wage and course fee subsidies of up to 90 per cent.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang announced the support measure during a visit to the Singapore Aero Engine Services facility in Loyang yesterday.
The courses will be conducted by the National University of Singapore, NTUC LearningHub, SIA Engineering Company, ST Engineering Aerospace and Temasek Polytechnic.
The measure is an extension of the Enhanced Training Support Package, which had initially been offered to six other industries hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Chan said that while the aerospace sector has been hit by a fall in demand, its medium- to long-term prospects are still good.
"We are not just investing in the skills for the current generation of engines but also in new skills, including the digital skills to manage the new generation of engines that will propel the aviation sector," he added.
Mr Chan also emphasised the long-term importance of retaining workers in the sector.
Noting that the capabilities in the aerospace industry are unique, he said: "It is not something that you can pick up and then let go, before coming back (to it) again. So it is important that we continue to maintain a certain consistency in the workflow... without which it will be very hard for us to ramp up the number of qualified engineers required for the industry when demand returns."
SkillsFuture Singapore and the Economic Development Board said the additional training support will help tide the sector over the current crisis and prepare for recovery.
The aerospace sector accounted for 1 per cent of Singapore's gross domestic product and churned out $13.1 billion in output last year. It employs more than 22,000 workers, of whom 74 per cent are professionals, managers, executives and technicians.
Companies in the related aviation sector include commercial carriers like Singapore Airlines and cargo handlers.
But as demand for air travel has been almost wiped out by the Covid-19 pandemic, both sectors have been hit hard.
Mr Sazali Zainal, vice-chairman of the NTUC Aerospace and Aviation Cluster and president of the Singapore Industrial and Services Employees' Union, said the unions have been lobbying hard for an enhanced training and support package as part of efforts to save jobs.
He urged companies to take advantage of this opportunity to further train workers and to work with the unions to overcome challenges they may face.