Sustainability sector jobs to include roles for PMETs, workers

Rank-and-file also have opportunities to learn new skills to take on higher-paying jobs

Workers at local farming company Sustenir Agriculture earlier this year. Positions for plant scientists, agronomists and aquaculture specialists as well as rank-and-file workers are expected to open up in the agri-food, food and environmental service
Workers at local farming company Sustenir Agriculture earlier this year. Positions for plant scientists, agronomists and aquaculture specialists as well as rank-and-file workers are expected to open up in the agri-food, food and environmental service industries in the next year. PHOTO: SUSTENIR AGRICULTURE

The 4,000 new and upgraded jobs that will open up in the environmental service, food and agri-food industries over the next year or so include positions for professionals, managers, executives and technicians as well as rank-and-file workers.

They include skilled posts in the high-tech agriculture and aquaculture sectors, such as for plant scientists, agronomists and aquaculture specialists, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) told The Straits Times.

Workers with expertise in engineering, science and environmental management will also be in demand as Singapore looks to strengthen its waste management and recycling industry.

There will be opportunities as well for rank-and-file workers to learn new skills so they can take on higher-paying jobs in more specialised roles.

For example, the MSE said it will help general cleaners upskill through initiatives such as a new course on environmental infection control in non-healthcare facilities.

"With the enhanced skill sets, cleaning professionals will be better equipped to take on more specialised job roles, with improved salaries and career prospects," said a spokesman.

The ministry was responding to queries from ST on job prospects in the sustainability sector, following news on Thursday that more positions will be created as Singapore pursues sustainable development.

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu noted that 55,000 new and upgraded jobs are expected to be created in the next decade, including about 4,000 in the next year.

She pointed to environmental services, climate research and agriculture and aquaculture as areas of growth, due to the threats posed by pandemics, climate change and resource constraints.

Ms Fu added that her ministry will support a "competitive transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient future" by promoting green growth and riding on opportunities from decarbonisation and industries such as carbon services and climate science.

Asked for details on this, the MSE spokesman pointed to Singapore's investments in climate science, and research and development for clean energy options such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies, and hydrogen.

  • 55,000 Number of new and upgraded jobs expected to be created in the sustainability sector in the next decade, including about 4,000 in the next year. 

POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT

This is encouraging, especially since we will all be operating in an increasingly carbon-constrained world with many countries trying to cut their carbon footprint.

MS MELISSA LOW, research fellow at the NUS Energy Studies Institute, on the Government's push for sustainability.

 
 
 
 

CCUS technologies help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it or convert it into useful products such as concrete, while hydrogen is a potential source of clean energy when coupled with renewable energy systems.

"As low-carbon technologies are being developed and test-bedded in Singapore to help us address our own energy and climate challenges, they will also be useful to other cities facing similar challenges," said the spokesman.

Partnering industry players and investing heavily in research, development and demonstration of these technologies will allow Singapore-developed solutions to be exported globally, he added.

Ms Melissa Low, a climate policy researcher at the National University of Singapore (NUS), noted that while sustainability is not a novel concept for Singapore, it is the first time the Government has officially called for a push for a green recovery.

"This is encouraging, especially since we will all be operating in an increasingly carbon-constrained world with many countries trying to cut their carbon footprint," said Ms Low, a research fellow at the NUS Energy Studies Institute.

The heavy investment in low-carbon options looks set to be a key part of Singapore's green recovery plan. And creating new jobs in industries that will help Singapore pursue the low-carbon future it has envisioned also ensures that workers are not left behind, noted Ms Low.

But she added that it was important to see how MSE will work with other ministries to incorporate sustainability at the national level.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2020, with the headline 'Sustainability sector jobs to include roles for PMETs, workers'. Subscribe