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Speech at International Facilities Management Conference 2016

Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Manpower, Marina Bay Sands

Mr Edward Liu, PBM, Group Managing Director, Conference & Exhibition Management Services Pte Ltd;
Mr Nelson Tee, President, Specialists Trade Alliance of Singapore;
Mr Tony Khoo, President, International Facility Management Association, Singapore Chapter;
Supporting Organisations, members of the diplomatic corp., valued exhibitors, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen.

  1. A very good morning to all of you.I am pleased to join you at the opening of the International Facility Management Conference 2016, held in conjunction with the International Facility Management Expo 2016 and Work Safe Asia 2016. 
  2. Good facilities management is an increasingly important sector. With our skillsets, businesses in this sector can grow in Singapore as well as internationally. Facilities that are well managed increase the cost-efficiency and we constantly look for innovation to create a safe and healthy work environment for people who use the facilities, as well as for the workers. For example, the use of powered access equipment, such as Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs), has become increasing popular in the Facilities Management sector, as such equipment not only increases the productivity of the workers, but are also safer than traditional methods of using A-frame ladders to work at heights. 
  3. It is therefore important that the Facilities Management industry increase safety awareness and raise the competency of its workers. In MOM, we oversee workplace safety and healthy. The latest numbers are not too good. I would like to help spread the message for everyone to put safety as paramount priority. Training of supervisors and self-discipline of workers to follow safety regulations is important. The environment in which Facilities Management professionals operate has become more complex. The integration of multiple disciplines to ensure the smooth operation of buildings presents many workplace safety and health challenges. For example, the evolution of building designs over the years have produced very nicely designed buildings like the Esplanade and Marine Bay Sands, which are iconic to Singapore’s urban landscape. However, the designs of these buildings are complex, and it presents challenges for the maintenance and cleaning process, as traditional methods of facilities management may not be suitable or effective for such structures. As such, organising sharing sessions like today’s conference and the WSH Forum for the Facilities Management Sector is a step in the right direction. I was told that the WSH Council had to increase the capacity because of the overwhelming response. It is reassuring to know that so many of you share the interest to increase the productivity of this sector, while keeping safety as a priority. 
  4. It is therefore fitting that Work Safe Asia 2016 is organised alongside the International Facility Management Expo 2016. This gathering of professionals and stakeholders involved in the WSH and facilities management provide an excellent platform to showcase the latest technologies, strategies and solutions for a safer and healthier workplace. We hope you will use this opportunity to network, build relationships, and deepen your knowledge on the latest trends and innovations in WSH management.
  5. The Facilities Management sector also need to evolve to keep pace with changes in the economic, manpower and technological landscapes. This includes shifting towards a more productive and manpower-lean models of operations, leveraging on technology to facilitate the transformation, including the upskilling of workers through various courses by Workforce Singapore and SkillsFuture Singapore. For example, using data and analytics tools, facility managers can link plant and equipment into a network and be proactive in identifying potential faults and defects that impact operations. Better use of technology will increase the value of FM professionals and appeal to a new generation of facility managers.
  6. I am excited to tour the exhibitions and learn what the exhibitors have to offer by way of solutions and innovations. I wish all participants, exhibitors and visitors a fruitful and rewarding day. Thank you.