SINGAPORE - Even as the manufacturing sector invests to keep up with rapid changes in technology, it must also invest in that other vital resource - people, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development Lee Yi Shyan.
"Beyond investing in technology, we must also invest in Singapore's most vital resource - our people," Mr Lee said in a speech at the Manufacturing Solutions Expo at Suntec convention centre on Wednesday.
Mr Lee noted that the industry faces three key challenges: "Rapid changes in technology, globalisation of supply chains and a tight domestic labour market."
But he also urged firms to "take the first step in championing the cause of SkillsFuture", a national plan to raise the skills of workers here and hence productivity.
Mr Lee also reminded the gathering that the government's mid-career enhanced subsidy announced in the Budget earlier this year, would come into effect on Thursday.
Under the scheme, Singaporeans aged 40 and above will receive up to a 90 per cent subsidy in course fees for courses funded by the Workforce Development Authority.
The Manufacturing Solutions Expo is organised by the Singapore Manufacturing Federation and Sphere Exhibits to help firms stay informed about the latest productivity improvements in machinery and technology.
This year's expo also features an additive manufacturing and robotics showcase with more than 10 demonstrations on 3D printing mechanics, industrial and service robots.
Sphere Exhibits chairman Chua Wee Phong said: "The trade show highlights the evolution of the manufacturing industry, showcasing technologies and products that lead to improved business productivity, profitability and sustainability within and beyond the manufacturing industry."