A door has opened for about 14,000 enterprises across 100 industrial estates in Singapore to raise their game in such areas as attracting talent and upskilling their existing workforce.
New pacts were inked yesterday for them to work more closely with institutes of higher learning (IHL), government agencies and other stakeholders to boost their business.
The new initiative, called Industry Connect, is spearheaded by industrial landlord JTC Corporation and a key aim is to give a leg-up to the manufacturing sector, which has been rocked by uncertainty in the past year amid the trade war between China and the United States.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the foodstuff, logistics, precision engineering, offshore and marine industries are likely to benefit first, with other sectors following progressively.
The memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were signed with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), the polytechnics, Workforce Singapore (WSG), SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and NTUC's e2i (Employment and Employability Institute).
The partnership is the first project to come under Industry Connect, which was launched yesterday at Seletar Aerospace Park.
The IHLs' students will be exposed to relevant job opportunities via open houses, factory tours and industry talks held in JTC estates.
Firms can identify skilled talent, give them project challenges, internships and job opportunities.
The partnership also helps the SMEs to raise their workers' skills by holding industry-relevant training programmes on-site in JTC estates. The programmes will be curated by SSG, WSG and e2i.
Another MOU was signed with the Association of Aerospace Industries Singapore, ITE, all five polytechnics and e2i to extend the talent outreach initiative, launched in 2018, for four more years.
JTC chief executive Ng Lang said the new move consolidates the pilot programmes undertaken by JTC in the past two years.
"To date, we've engaged more than 300 businesses in our estates on technology adoption and over 3,000 students have benefited," he said. "We hope that (Industry Connect) can create an extra layer of value to our network of over 14,000 businesses."
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat said: "When companies and schools work together to bring training and internships, our young people can make full use of these new opportunities and jobs."
Temasek Polytechnic's School of Engineering deputy director William See said the new initiative will help the students to understand the variety of jobs available in their chosen fields.