Made-in-Singapore engines for some of Scoot's new Boeing 787 aircraft

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines' budget arm, Scoot, which will receive the first of its 20 new Boeing 787 aircraft in the coming weeks, will have some of the aircraft fitted with made-in Singapore engines.

One such Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine was delivered to the airline on Tuesday at the British firm's Seletar Aerospace Park facility. It took about 80 people to assemble and test the engine.

Opened three years ago, the facility produces engine fan blades for large aircraft - the first such Rolls-Royce plant outside England. There is also a factory to assemble and test engines, and a regional training centre.

Education Minister, Heng Swee Keat, who was chief guest at the event, said it is remarkable that such work is being done in Singapore which has no history in the manufacture of aero-engines.

He said: "Investments, such as this, have been made possible by our pro-business environment and robust intellectual property protection regime. But above all, multinationals, like Rolls-Royce, choose to invest here because of the quality of our people - our commitment to doing our best, to work as a team and to learning deep skills."

"There was a time when Singapore was known to produce toys, hair wigs and mosquito coils. Fast forward 50 years, our workforce is manufacturing aero-engines and building locally-designed commercial satellites today. Our semiconductor industry is one of the largest in this region; and, our marine and offshore industry, despite our lack of oil reserves, is a global leader in mobile offshore drilling units such as jack-up rigs and semisubmersibles."

Singapore has achieved much in the last 50 years but there is work ahead, he added.

As technologies advance and industries evolve, Singapore's education and training system must likewise adjust.

At the national level, there are efforts to develop an integrated system of learning, pre-and post-employment, for all Singaporeans, he said.

"We seek to foster a culture of lifelong learning and training, where we can build a future based on mastery of skills in every job. These efforts will require close collaboration with employers, unions, training providers and individuals" Mr Heng said.

karam@sph.com.sg