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Singapore’s manufacturing talent must evolve to address new challenges: Randstad

SINGAPORE (Sept 5): A growing number of companies in Singapore’s manufacturing sector have been jumping on the digital bandwagon by exploring how manufacturing intelligence and automation can help meet their business objectives, reduce cost and improve efficiencies, according to Randstad Singapore’s observations.

In its latest Manufacturing Workforce Trends report, the recruitment firm says manufacturing employees will need to acknowledge the need to be flexible and adaptable to “inevitable changes” in their job scopes with the advent of emerging technologies.

It is also likely that these employees will be required to learn how to work with new and advanced technology through robust learning and development programmes provided by their companies, it adds.

In particular, the firm says it has seen a healthy demand for professionals with skills and regional experience in management, sales & marketing, legal services, and human resources (HR) among other administrative roles.

Randstad has also highlighted an increased focus on managing non-communicable healthcare challenges such as heart diseases and diabetes, a trend which the firm attributes to Singapore’s ageing population.

“Many companies we’ve been working with are increasingly looking for talent who have the experience and skills sets that are sought-after in the fast-growing medical technology and biomanufacturing industries,” says Randstad.

Citing recent data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore (MTI), which reflected that the manufacturing expanded by 10.2% y-o-y in 2Q18, Randstad believes the manufacturing sector has once again emerged as a key economic driver for Singapore in 2Q this year.

Even as companies relocate their manufacturing plants overseas to reduce costs in recent years, Singapore’s stable political market and geographical location has led to a number of businesses opting to keep their Asia Pacific offices or headquarters in Singapore, add the firm.

“[Singapore’s manufacturing sector performance in 2Q] is pretty remarkable considering the political uncertainties in both regional and global economies,” it comments.

Nonetheless, Randstad acknowledges that Singapore’s manufacturing industry continues to be predominantly traditional, with most companies seeking talent with specific skills and experience to match specific job requirements.

“For example, it would be difficult for a job seeker who has experience working in semiconductor manufacturing to switch over to the up-and-coming biomanufacturing space as the knowledge and skills needed for the job are significantly different. It is not uncommon for job seekers to take a pay cut if they want to expand their capabilities and skills beyond their current sectors,” illustrates the firm.


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