The job market in Singapore could be seriously refreshed by new investments in the offshore engineering and marine sectors. Besides bringing an additional $5.8 billion to the local budget, these investments will also generate approximately 1,500 new positions on the job market until 2025. A team formed out of the representatives of several agencies and managed by the Economic Development Board came out with a plan involving roads that are meant to refresh these two sectors of Singapore’s industry. Also, a few days ago, a map that presented the transformations that were going to take place in these industries was released by S. Iswaran, who is the current Minister for Trade and Industry.
The Economic Development Board, or EDB, mentioned, in a public statement, the fact that the offshore engineering and marine sectors went through three very difficult years. Also, the significant decrease in the price of oil that took place in 2014 did nothing but aggravate the situation. Even so, these two sectors are still very important for the economy of Singapore, offering jobs to 23,000 locals and bringing $3.6 billion to the GDP of the country. The Government couldn’t just stand and do nothing while this part of the industry was being challenged, so it came up with measures meant to offer support to the business owners in these sectors during the years of hardship. Thus, two different schemes were used, the Internationalization Finance Scheme and Spring Singapore’s Bridging Loan. These schemes provided loans to approximately 100 different companies, or more, which summed up the amount of $700 million. The majority of the companies that applied for such a loan were the small and medium ones.
Besides the financial aid, help was also offered to the employees of this part of the industry. They were helped to develop a new set of skills that were going to help them find new jobs in the industry or, at least, in a similar industry. How will this industry be refreshed? The ones in charge of its transformation managed to find three main aspects that need to be improved with priority. Thus, new growth areas must be found and pursued, innovation and improving productivity are needed for future development, and the inhabitants of Singapore must be trained so that they acquire the right set of skills and knowledge. What’s the plan to solve all these aspects? At the moment, the Government is already offering a helping hand to the companies in this domain, allowing them to find top-notch solutions to improve manufacturing performances, which includes automation and the acquisition of robots.
Also, investment in new opportunities will also help. Offshore winds and liquefied gas represent, at the moment, the best two options to develop business in this industry. Having in mind that companies in the offshore engineering and marine industry relied mostly on gas and oil, these two new opportunities are welcome. As mentioned earlier, the development of new skills is also essential. This is why the SkillsFuture Series and Skills Framework for Marine and Offshore, were created so that they help players obtain the needed competencies and technical skills in this domain. Better training means more profitable companies, which is one of the objectives of this massive plan.
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