1,900 jobs on offer in growing electronics manufacturing industry since April, nearly all in PMET roles

Firms are also transforming to focus on higher-value manufacturing activities. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The electronics industry continues to grow amid the coronavirus pandemic and there have been some 1,900 jobs on offer since April, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Monday (Oct 19).

The vast majority of these jobs are for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), with the majority in technical roles.

Monthly salaries for manufacturing engineers in the sector range from $1,800 to $3,225, with a median of $2,575, while electronics or mechanical engineers would typically receive between $4,500 and $6,000.

Those in non-technical roles, such as sales and marketing executives, could earn monthly salaries between $2,800 and $8,500, with a median of $3,450.

Besides jobs, there are also about 850 company-hosted traineeships and attachments, as well as 150 training positions, on offer in the industry.

More than 220 people were placed in jobs and traineeships in the segment between April and September. Of those who took up new jobs or roles, close to half were workers aged above 40.

Speaking at a press briefing after a visit to semiconductor firm GlobalFoundries on Monday, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that while some may think that they need a technical background to work in the electronics and larger manufacturing sector, this is not necessarily the case, even if many of the jobs on offer are technical roles.

“Job seekers who have technical background, but come from different sectors, may already possess many transferrable skills. By acquiring additional domain knowledge, these job seekers can access opportunities in the electronics industry,” she said, noting that unfamiliarity with the job scope of opportunities in the cluster may be a factor in lower applications for roles in the industry.

She added that it would be a great pity if the positions on offer are not filled by Singaporeans, as it would affect the companies’ abilities to grow.

Opportunities in electronics

The electronics cluster, which employs more than 70,000 workers specialising in fields such as semiconductor, consumer electronics and information technology, has been expanding this year despite the Covid-19 crisis.

Total employment in the segment grew by 1,000 between April and June, despite Singapore's worst-ever quarterly fall in employment, driven partly by the surge in demand for digital goods and services to stay connected. It was the only segment within the manufacturing sector that saw an increase in total employment.

“This is partly due to the move towards digitalisation, resulting in the demand growth across the value chain,” Mrs Teo said. “As a result, firms in (the electronics segment) are looking into building capabilities, which involves hiring more people and offering more job opportunities.”

Firms are also transforming to focus on higher-value manufacturing activities by using technology such as artificial intelligence, robotics and automation, even as they increase capacity to meet demand for electronics components, MOM added.

Job seekers can tap Workforce Singapore's (WSG) 10 professional conversion programmes and its place-and-train programme to pick up skills ranging from engineering, supply chain and logistics to technical sales, which will help them join the electronics industry.

Traineeships and training courses are also available to those looking to gain exposure to the industry.

Mrs Teo noted that non-technical job roles are also on offer, and electronics firms can benefit from hiring individuals that bring experience in areas such as business development and purchasing from other sectors.

Job search assistance

In its weekly report on Monday, the MOM also provided an update on its efforts to help job seekers in their job search.

About 51,700 people received basic career advisory or job search assistance through services provided by WSG and NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute from January to September.

This is a 49 per cent increase from the same period in 2019, which is due to increased outreach and higher demand from job seekers looking to make career transitions, MOM said.

Another 28,400 people received individualised career coaching over the nine-month period, it added.

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