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Speech by Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo at 2nd SCALA Graduation Ceremony for PCPs

Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo, Supply Chain City

Dr Robert Yap, Chairman of Board of Advisors of SCALA;

SCALA’s Advisory Board Members;

Members of the Supply Chain and Logistics Corporate Network;

Friends and colleagues

  1. Good afternoon. Thank you for inviting me to the 2nd SCALA PCP graduation ceremony. My heartiest congratulations to all graduates.
  2. When I spoke at the inaugural graduation ceremony in May last year, Singapore’s full year economic outlook then leaned on the positive side. A year on, the outlook is more uncertain but not uniformly negative. The skies are a bit overcast, but there are still bright spots.
  3. This is not something unfamiliar. In all businesses, there are cycles. After the good years, there could be lean years.
  4. Survival is key. But businesses that have weathered the storms know that to become more resilient for the long haul, they must keep sharpening competitiveness. Whether it is productivity, innovation, capability development, internationalism or restructuring, we have to keep going in good times and bad.
  5. This is why, while dealing with short-term pressures, we also need to look ahead. For both our businesses and workers, it pays to be agile and capture new opportunities.

    Walking the Tech Journey with Our Workers
  6. Technology, in particular, offers opportunities that we may not have imagined before. New jobs are created. Existing jobs are transformed, often made easier. But there can also be job losses. This worries people.
  7. Our approach in dealing with technology is to protect the workers rather than the jobs. How do we do that? It starts with helping as many people as possible keep their skills relevant.
  8. Besides Skillsfuture, WSG’s Adapt and Grow programme proactively works with companies that are transforming to identify new positions that their employees can be re-skilled and re-deployed for. This type of professional conversion is happening in a big way in consumer banking.
  9. Sometimes, the new job opportunities are in a new company or industry. In such instances, WSG provides comprehensive support to help in the transition.
  10. Last year, the Adapt & Grow (A&G) initiative helped more than 30,000 job seekers move into new jobs. In particular, the Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) helped close to 5,000 people re-skill and take on new careers, an increase of over 30% compared to 2017. There are now more than 100 PCPs to be found in over 30 sectors.
  11. Most PCP participants do well after completing the programme. About two-thirds were recognized for their newly acquired skills, and received higher wages.
  12. The A&G initiative is how we walk the tech journey with workers. It helps agile workers, like our graduands today, move on to better things. It is also how we help Singaporeans sustain career mobility. By opening up opportunities and pathways to take on new job roles, their career runways are extended.

    Building talent to support the Supply Chain and Logistics industry
  13. Today, the supply chain and logistics industry is undergoing a wave of transformation driven by technological advances. E-commerce, data analytics and automated logistics and supply chain systems are changing the way many companies operate.
  14. Competitive companies know that they must be at the forefront of technology adoption to stay ahead of their competitors. Far from shedding jobs, the industry is calling for a stronger pipeline of talent in new roles to support business growth.
  15. In 2016, Workforce Singapore (WSG) worked with the industry to launch the PCP for Logistics Officer and Logistics Executive. To date, more than 300 individuals have been placed into new jobs in the logistics and supply chain industry through the PCPs.
  16. In 2018, WSG introduced the PCP for Supply Chain Professionals. WSG had initially expected up to 100 mid-career PMETs to take up the programme over a period of two years. All the places have since been taken up. This is a happy problem which WSG is glad to address.
  17.  First, we will increase the capacity of the PCP for Supply Chain Professionals. Another 150 training places will be added to support employers looking to hire and reskill mid-career entrants who do not have any relevant experience.
  18. Second, we will introduce a new Redeployment PCP for Supply Chain and Logistics Professionals. With the new Redeployment PCP, companies will receive support to reskill and redeploy existing employees to take on enhanced or new job roles as they transform. In doing so, the businesses can better meet their talent needs. Their employees can stay relevant and also contribute to the company’s transformation. This is a win-win outcome. For a start, 200 PMET employees will benefit.
  19. Third, to further widen the talent pool for our employers, we will introduce a Career Transition Programme for Retiring SAF Servicemen. These “retirees” have a wealth of experience that is of great value to industry if they can be persuaded to embark on a second career in supply chain and logistics. We will pilot the programme with 40 servicemen and also help to smoothen their transition into the civilian work environment. I’m confident their employers will welcome them.

    Career Mobility for Singaporeans
  20. Career mobility is important to many Singaporeans. Most of us want the opportunity to learn and grow as we move on in our careers. No one wants to stay in the same spot forever.
  21. The three initiatives that I have just shared are examples of some of the pathways we have put in place to help connect employers and jobseekers, and support them as they navigate the changes brought about by technology and industry transformation. The government will continue to support Singaporeans so that they can progress in their careers, whatever their starting point, regardless of their life stage.

    Conclusion
  22.  Finally, I would also like to thank Dr Robert Yap and his team for organising today’s ceremony, and for being so supportive of the supply chain and logistics industry.
  23. To those graduating today and your employers, my heartiest congratulations again!