ITE students to get more support to pursue careers in semiconductor sector

Students learning about the operation of a diffusion furnace at Microelectronics Training Centre. PHOTO: ITE

SINGAPORE - ITE students keen on a career in the semiconductor industry will be getting more help in the form of hands-on training at a revamped training centre as well as job placements.

The revamped 700 sq m Microelectronics Training Centre at the ITE College Central campus in Ang Mo Kio will feature smart manufacturing technologies such as Internet of Things, data analytics, and robotics that is integrated with the existing equipment

This will enable ITE students from electronics-related courses to get training in the use of tech tools in manufacturing work as well as for troubleshooting and maintenance.

On Friday, at the launch of the training centre, ITE students also attended a career fair for students interested in jobs in the semiconductor sector, where there were more than 500 jobs on offer from 15 employers.

Industry giants like STMicroelectronics and ITE on Friday also renewed partnerships that began in 2016 and will help train and attract students to join the semiconductor industry.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Desmond Tan, who was the guest of honour at the event, said the electronics sector forms the core of the manufacturing sector, with more than 68,000 workers or about 17 per cent of the total manufacturing workforce.

In 2021, the semiconductor sector alone contributed to 7 per cent of Singapore’s gross domestic product or GDP. Electronics, together with other manufacturing sectors contributed 22 per cent, which is the biggest share of Singapore’s GDP, he added.

Mr Tan, who is also NTUC deputy secretary-general, said some of the world’s biggest foundries and semiconductor assembly and test companies have set up manufacturing facilities in Singapore, with work like research and development, manufacturing and supply chain management.

He said: “At the forefront of leading the industry 4.0 transformation, initiatives are designed and implemented to transform work processes, uplift job value and improve work conditions in the electronics sector.

“These ongoing efforts have helped the sector to grow and transform, overcoming cyclical economic downturns. This is very exciting, as this will be able to create many career and growth opportunities for our workers, especially the youths.”

Mr Tan said the demand for manpower in the electronics sector remains strong, whether for students, graduates and even people looking to make a mid-career switch.

Student Sajib Kumar Dhali, 18, who is doing a Nitec course in electronics, computer networking and communications, said he was inspired by his brother to join the electronics industry.

He said: “My brother and have dreams of opening an electronic store together. With the new facility, I will be better able to apply what I have learned and find success in my career.”

STMicroelectronics technician Muhammad Nur’Iman, 23, is among those who has benefited from ITE’s partnerships with companies from the semiconductor industry.

He is enrolled in the ITE Work-Study diploma course and gets training at the workplace while continuing to attend lessons two days a week at ITE.

He said: “This arrangement has given me a really great head start in my career and a chance to learn a skillset to upgrade myself.”

In January, NTUC’s e2i and the Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association also launched a semiconductor and electronics job portal to support the development of a talent pipeline as part of efforts to grow a strong electronic workforce.

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