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Over 13,000 Training Places for Aerospace Employees Under Enhanced Training Support Package

To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the aerospace industry, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) have jointly announced the extension of the Enhanced Training Support Package (ETSP) to the aerospace sector. This will help the sector tide over the economic impact of COVID-19, encourage companies to upskill their employees and position themselves for subsequent recovery. Under this package, employees will benefit from more than 13,000 highly-subsidised training places.

The support package was unveiled by Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Chan Chun Sing, and Minister of State for Education and Manpower, Ms Gan Siow Huang, at a visit to Singapore Aero Engine Services Private Limited (SAESL) this morning. 

The ETSP initiative was introduced as part of the Stabilisation and Support Package announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat at Budget 2020. To date, it has been rolled out to six industry sectors, namely Tourism; Air Transport; Retail; Food Services; Land Transport; and Arts and Culture. Launched in February 2020, close to 84,000 training places have been taken up under the package, benefiting more than 35,000 employees across 920 enterprises. Sectors such as Air Transport and Tourism have seen particularly strong take-ups, with 31,000 training places and 28,000 training places filled respectively.  

With the roll-out of the ETSP for the aerospace sector, SSG will provide enhanced training support from 1 September to 31 December 2020 to help companies in the sector upskill their employees. Employers who send their employees for selected sector-specific training programmes will receive: 

(i) Enhanced Absentee Payroll at 90 per cent of hourly basic salary, capped at $10 per hour; and 

(ii) Enhanced course fee support at up to 90 per cent of course fees, up from a baseline rate of 50 per cent.

SSG and EDB will work with appointed training partners to increase training capacity to cater to the needs of affected employees during this period. For a start, SSG is appointing five training providers: National University of Singapore; NTUC LearningHub; SIA Engineering Company; ST Engineering Aerospace; and Temasek Polytechnic to offer about 100 courses for the sector. These courses will help employees deepen their domain knowledge in areas of aircraft maintenance, regulatory frameworks, and quality and safety management. Employees will also be equipped with emerging skills such as automation and robotics, cyber security and data analytics. Examples of the courses are:

Category of Training

Course Title

Deep Domain Skills

WSQ Perform Aircraft General Maintenance

Deep Domain Skills

Quality & Safety Management System in Aerospace

Emerging Skills

Analytics in Industry 4.0

Emerging Skills

Robotics Operation & Adaptation

(SkillsFuture Series)

Soft Skills

WSQ Apply Innovation in the Workplace

 

Mr Ong Tze-Ch’in, Chief Executive, SSG, said, “We hope that these enhanced training support will encourage companies in the aerospace sector to take this period to uplift the capabilities of their workforce. Through this scheme, we hope that many workers in the aerospace sector will be given opportunities to widen and deepen their skills.” 

Mr Chng Kai Fong, Managing Director, EDB, said, “While the impact of COVID-19 on the global aerospace industry is severe and expected to last for some time, the Enhanced Training Support Package will enable aerospace companies to upskill their workforce in preparation for the eventual recovery and growth. Over the years we have created good jobs and built up core capabilities in the sector to serve global markets. Aerospace remains an important industry for Singapore and EDB will continue to partner aerospace companies to weather this period of difficulty, while preserving jobs and capabilities.”

SSG and EDB have been working closely with stakeholders such as the Trade Association & Chambers and unions to put together relief measures to upskill the employees and help the sector recover. Several aerospace companies were also engaged to understand their training needs, including SIA Engineering Company, ST Engineering Aerospace, SAESL and General Electric Aviation. 

Mr Sazali Bin Zainal, Vice Chairman of NTUC Aerospace and Aviation Cluster, and President of the Singapore Industrial and Services Employees’ Union, said, “The unions lobbied hard for an enhanced training and support package for the aerospace industry to support workers’ training during this lull period, as part of our efforts to save jobs. We urge companies to take full advantage of this opportunity to deepen workers’ skills, and very importantly, work with the union to overcome any challenges they may face during this difficult time.”

Mr Sia Kheng Yok, Chief Executive, Association of Aerospace Industries (Singapore), said, “The pandemic has accelerated industry and technology trends, and hence the urgency of preparing our workforce for the future. Besides developing aerospace knowledge and skills, this also means embracing new digital technologies that are transforming the nature of work. The aerospace community welcomes this enhanced training support from the government. It is an encouragement to prepare workers for changes ahead, and to renew and reinforce our core capabilities.”