SINGAPORE - A total of 24 senior engineers were the first batch to graduate on Monday (Jan 16) from a new training programme organised by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES).
The Advanced Engineers Leadership Programme, which was held in six sessions from August to October last year, saw them being trained in leadership and innovation skills. They also had one-to-one mentorship sessions with senior management from the industry.
Another 138 engineers also graduated from the second run of the Young Engineers Leadership Programme, held over 12 months from 2015 to 2016.
IES president Edwin Khew said at the graduation ceremony that the programmes are part of an industry-wide career development plan to equip students with the necessary skills to move up the career ladder and remain in engineering.
"Singapore has no lack of talented engineers with great leadership potential... who are capable of taking on managerial roles to lead their employers and organisations towards greater growth. But many of such engineers choose to leave the profession after some years of practice, as they do not see the opportunity to move on to management positions," he said, speaking at the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre in Jurong.
"For the younger engineering students, the lack of a clear progression pathway has also somewhat deterred them from embarking on it as a career."
There are many opportunities for engineers in Singapore, said NTUC assistant director-general Vivek Kumar, who also spoke at the event.
He pointed to shifting economic power, shifting demographics, accelerating urbanisation, scarce resources and technological advancements as global trends that are creating new challenges for engineers to tackle, such as having to house a burgeoning population within the same space.
"Technology aside, we need to have the mindset to take on things that are ambiguous, to find answers where the questions themselves are not clear," he said.