SINGAPORE - From next year, clean energy companies will, for the first time, sponsor engineering students for the Energy-Industry Scholarship (EIS) here.
This means that some of next year's batch of scholarship recipients and future cohorts will be posted to clean energy companies after completing their studies at polytechnics or the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).
Launched in 2014, the EIS has been co-funded by traditional power-sector firms such as Singapore Power and Senoko Energy, as well as the Energy Market Authority (EMA).
With green energy companies coming on board the scholarship programme, it will help to ensure an adequate manpower pipeline and a competent workforce to support the country's energy transition, said EMA on Friday (Oct 29).
"This will widen opportunities and help more companies gain a capable workforce ready to take on good jobs in clean energy," said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling on Friday.
She was speaking at the Singapore International Energy Week's (Siew) event for young people called Youth @ Siew.
The event was a hybrid event held at Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, as well as online.
The nation is on a path to decarbonise and green its energy mix, given that currently, the power sector in Singapore accounts for about 40 per cent of the country's carbon emissions.
It was announced earlier this week that Singapore plans to import around 30 per cent of its electricity from low-carbon sources, such as wind energy and hydropower, by 2035.
For now, solar energy firm Sunseap has signed on to become a sponsoring organisation for next year's scholarship edition, and those after.
Ms Low said the scholarship is looking to involve clean energy companies in areas such as solar, energy storage systems and smart grids.
Sunseap Group chief of people and organisation, Ms Kok Ee Lan, said: "The clean energy sector needs qualified candidates ready to step into job vacancies to drive innovation and projects to meet Singapore's energy transition targets.
"We power our (green technology solutions) vision with a high-quality workforce, and Energy-Industry scholars from the ITE and polytechnics who choose Sunseap will be our valuable people assets."
Some recipients of next year's EIS may be posted to Sunseap.
When asked how many clean-tech companies the scholarship is looking for, an EMA spokesman said: "The number of clean energy companies that will on board as a sponsoring organisation will depend on the needs and requirements of the companies, and whether there are suitable HR practices in place to develop and nurture their scholarship recipients."
Friday's Youth @ Siew event also awarded this year's three scholarship recipients, who are engineering students from Singapore Polytechnic.
One of them is Mr Bryan Low, 20, a second-year student who is pursuing a diploma in mechatronics and robotics.
Mr Low, who will be posted to Keppel Merlimau Cogen after completing his studies and national service, is interested to work in power plants and make electricity generation more sustainable.
"Working at Keppel Merlimau Cogen will help me gain a better understanding of how I can contribute to make power generation more sustainable. I hope to learn more about plant operations and maintenance, and pick up valuable skills."
Another recipient is Mr Muhammad Harith Hidayat, 20, who became interested in electrical engineering after seeing his father carry out electrical works at home.
He was particularly intrigued when there was an electrical spark while his father replaced a light starter.
Mr Muhammad Harith said: "This curiosity turned into interest when I realised that without my father doing minor repair works, my home would not function properly. This made me want to help my father to ease his workload and my interest grew as a result."
The second-year electrical and electronic engineering student will be posted to Senoko Energy.
The third scholarship recipient Wesley Wang, 18, is reading aerospace electronics, and will be posted to Tuas Power.
The youth event on Friday also introduced EMA's second batch of energy ambassadors - students from institutes of higher learning - who will participate in energy-related outreach programmes and start energy projects in their schools.