6,370 jobs available in Singapore's manufacturing sector; 1 in 10 in hard-hit marine and offshore industry

Apart from jobs, there are about 2,710 company-hosted traineeships and attachments, as well as 1,330 training opportunities. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - About 6,370 jobs are on offer in the manufacturing sector, with one in 10 from the hard-hit marine and offshore sub-sector.

These make up over 60 per cent of the more than 10,400 job, traineeship and training opportunities available as at the middle of last month, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in its weekly jobs situation report on Monday (Nov 9).

At 6,370, the number of jobs available is almost double the 3,200 openings in the sector at the end of August.

Within the sector, electronics, precision engineering and food manufacturing had the greatest number of available openings.

Of the jobs available now, seven in 10 are for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).

Electronics engineers can earn monthly salaries of between $4,300 and $6,000. The median monthly pay is $4,700.

The salary for mechanical engineers is about $3,500 and $5,250 a month, with a median of $4,150, while that of manufacturing engineering technicians is $1,700 to $2,750, with a median of $2,000. Software, web and multimedia developers are paid between $3,500 and $5,000 monthly, with a median of $4,250.

About 30 per cent of the jobs available are non-PMET roles.

These non-PMET jobs include roles for production clerks, who typically receive monthly salaries of $1,300 to $1,650, with a median of $1,440. Welders and flame cutters earn between $1,950 and $2,500, with a median of $2,150. Meanwhile, machine-tool setter-operators are paid between $1,450 and $2,050, with a median of $1,750.

Apart from jobs, there are about 2,710 company-hosted traineeships and attachments, as well as 1,330 training opportunities.

Some 2,120 people have been placed into jobs, traineeships and training positions in the manufacturing sector as of the middle of last month, up from about 730 in end June.

About 1,350 of them found jobs. Another 320 were placed in traineeships and attachments, while 450 took on training openings.

The results of recent efforts to make available a range of opportunities and get job seekers into these openings “have been encouraging”, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo at a virtual press conference. “We will continue to help jobseekers transiting from other sectors make the switch through the various programmes.”

Within the marine and offshore sub-sector, there are more than 800 available opportunities, including 700 jobs.

About 84 per cent of job openings in the sub-sector are in PMET roles.

These include electrical engineers, who can earn between $3,550 and $7,500 monthly, with a median of $5,250. Meanwhile, mechanical engineers are paid about $3,750 to $6,500, with a median of $4,950.

Mechanical engineering technicians get monthly salaries between $2,300 and $3,900, with a median of $2,950. The salary for manufacturing engineering technicians is between $2,000 and $3,725, with a median of $2,800.

There are also 110 traineeship and attachment openings in the sub-sector, which requires highly skilled manpower.

More than 70 people were placed into jobs, traineeships and attachments in the marine and offshore sub-sector between April and the middle of last month.

The sub-sector, which employs close to 77,000 workers, has been hard hit in recent years due largely to weakened rig demand from the slump in global oil prices. In the past few months, companies also had to stop non-essential work or operate at reduced capacities to comply with movement restriction and safe management measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The sub-sector has been shedding workers in recent years, mostly from firms in oil and gas equipment manufacturing, said MOM. However, hiring continued among those in marine activities such as ship repair, conversion, and refurbishment during this period.

To position the sub-sector for recovery, the government has also extended the enhanced training support package to encourage companies to upskill their workers during this downtime. This includes receiving course fee subsidies for sending their employees for sector-specific training from last month to June next year. In the past four years, companies have been tapping on Workforce Singapore's (WSG) redeployment professional conversion programme (PCP), to equip their workers with new skillsets, so that they can take on new or enhanced roles, and better support their firms' move into the new growth areas.

For instance, workers can look forward to taking on higher-value job roles created, such as automation engineers to integrate automated technologies and robotic systems in ships and rigs, and data scientists to analyse and improve ship, rig, marine equipment design.

Mid-career job seekers with electrical, mechanical engineering or related backgrounds tend to find it easier to switch to the marine and offshore sub-sector, as they already have the transferrable skills needed to handle complex projects, said MOM. These include project and quality management skills

WSG offers PCPs in roles such as marine engineer, marine assistant engineer and marine technician to help ease the transition for more mid-career workers.

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Mrs Teo stressed that while companies pivot to new growth areas, their workers will also need to pick up new skills and be redeployed to stay relevant.

Even though the sector requires highly-skilled manpower, those looking for a mid-career switch can tap on the PCPs, traineeships and attachments to “help lower the barriers to entry and ease their transition”, she added.

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