Mr Ng Wee Teck is an O-level certificate holder and polytechnic dropout but he works in an advanced manufacturing role, leading a team of 54 to troubleshoot and programme robots.
The 46-year-old Singaporean, along with Mr Khoo Chew Thong, general manager for refrigeration compression business management, were two Pansonic employees praised by Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say yesterday for adapting to technology and upgrading their skills.
Mr Ng told The Straits Times that he started out 16 years ago as a technician on the production line.
"When I joined the company, most of the production lines were manually operated," he said. Noting the onset of automation, he became the only member of his unit to volunteer for robotics courses sponsored by the Japanese company. As he learnt about robot integration and troubleshooting, he gained confidence in his skills while his salary tripled over the years.
Meanwhile, Mr Khoo has gone from a junior engineer to managing the business development of Panasonic's global refrigeration compression arm.
At 58, he is taking on new responsibilities. Previously focused on managing products, he will now look after a range of business development activities from product planning to regulatory compliance. He said he will also have to go beyond the region to "scan the market globally".
Lee Xin En