Biologics sector rolls out schemes to attract and train workers

SINGAPORE - Going on overseas training stints may be out of reach for many fresh school leavers.

But recent polytechnic graduate Nurfaridah Feroz Khan, 20, will soon spend a year in North Carolina in the United States, to be trained as biologics process technician.

The biologics manufacturing sector, which produces vaccines and drugs, is fast-expanding and is rolling out schemes such as overseas train-and-place programmes to meet its manpower needs.

The schemes come under a new five-year plan to attract, train and develop talent for the sector.

The plan is developed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the Economic Development Board (EDB) and companies.

WDA chief executive Ng Cher Pong said on Friday that the five-year plan will help companies fill the estimated 1,000 new jobs which will created in the biologics manufacturing sector over the next three years.

The sector currently employs about 1,600 workers.

"Exciting job opportunities are available for biotechnologists, quality assurance or quality control specialists and validation specialists," he added.

Mr Ng was speaking at the launch of the five-year plan at Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis's manufacturing facility in Tuas.