Leg-up for logistics with skills framework

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong touring logistics giant YCH's flagship headquarters, Supply Chain City, in Jurong West yesterday with (from left) YCH chairman Robert Yap; head of operations innovation Khoo Ngiap Seng; and Mr Ngoh Jun Dat, who is with
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong touring logistics giant YCH's flagship headquarters, Supply Chain City, in Jurong West yesterday with (from left) YCH chairman Robert Yap; head of operations innovation Khoo Ngiap Seng; and Mr Ngoh Jun Dat, who is with Mr Khoo's innovation team.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

PM urges logistics firms to invest in people and innovate, at opening of YCH's new high-tech hub

A national skills framework that identifies jobs, career pathways and emerging skills required for the logistics sector was launched yesterday.

The joint effort by the Economic Development Board, Spring Singapore, SkillsFuture Singapore, Workforce Singapore, unions and employers, gives workers and firms information on industry trends, statistics and training programmes.

A guide - Skills Framework For Logistics - has been produced.

Part of the logistics industry transformation map launched late last year, the framework supports the Government's vision of adding 2,000 new PMET (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) jobs in the industry by 2020.

Yesterday's launch coincided with the opening of Supply Chain City, the flagship headquarters of home-grown logistics giant YCH.

The sprawling warehouse, office and industry academy sits on 6.5ha in the upcoming Jurong Innovation District in Jurong West, and cost $200 million to build.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the opening ceremony: "Logistics is an important and promising sector for Singapore. We have a well-connected airport and sea ports that enable logistics companies to serve the whole region efficiently from Singapore, notwithstanding the higher land and labour cost."

Mr Lee urged firms to invest in people, embrace new technologies, adapt and innovate. He said YCH was wise to invest in Supply Chain City five years ago, when technology was rapidly disrupting the industry, with sensors, robotics and cloud computing changing the game.

"Instead of being daunted by the challenges, YCH took the opportunity to harness these innovations to upgrade, and stay a step ahead of their competitors. We hope to have more companies like YCH."

Supply Chain City is equipped with new technology such as RFID (radio frequency identification).

YCH plans to spend another $50 million on applied innovations like inventory-counting drones, robotics, big data analytics and supply chain financing, said YCH chairman Robert Yap. "Logistics is a critical enabler for many businesses and economies. Singapore should leverage that to build this expertise and groom a legion of Singapore enterprises and professionals who can lead the Asia growth story and stay relevant with future jobs," he added.

Last year, logistics contributed more than 7 per cent to Singapore's gross domestic product, and employed more than 200,000 workers.

 

Among the carrots in place to encourage firms here to invest in their workforce is the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for logistics officers and executives, which has seen overwhelming response since it was launched last year.

One of the 75 people placed through the PCP is Ms Jennifer Teo, a mother of two who recently rejoined the workforce. ST Logistics hired her as an IT project assistant manager in March through the PCP. Workforce Singapore helps offset some of her training costs.

Ms Teo said: "I am not formerly from the logistics industry at all, but the PCP gives me an industry overview and allows me to be more on a par with my operations users. Of course there are more intricate parts, but the PCP allowed me a jump-start. The trainers are very experienced, and they will teach you the theory and share their experiences."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2017, with the headline 'Leg-up for logistics with skills framework'. Print Edition | Subscribe