An initiative called ‘Industry 4.0 Human Capital Initiative’ was launched by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Singapore Business Federation in March last year to help companies adopt industry 4.0 solutions. This upskilling of workers have already benefited 90 firms, with jobs such as supervisors, operations managers, and engineers, and 280 other roles being identified for job redesign.
Tan See Leng, the Manpower Minister, while giving an update on the initiative, said that the job redesigning initiative means that more than 1,500 workers could see their roles change so that they can take on higher-value tasks.
The initiative is set to help another 210 manufacturing firms, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, by 2022. It aids the firms to identify lacunas or drawbacks in their processes and then presents an eight-week program to help companies in overcoming problems like labor productivity and planning efficiency by experts from McKinsey & Company and EY.
The companies can also use industry 4.0 solutions on a trial basis and get a phased roadmap to support their workforce in the transformation.
With the help of this initiative, 90 firms identified their errors where they can potentially achieve up to $60 million in cost savings and increased revenue. SouperFoods is one of them, which took the benefit of the initiative and reduced manpower demands, and increased the use of machines and technology.
Dr Tan noted on a visit to SouperFoods, which runs a chain of Soup Spoon outlets: "The manufacturing sector is... a key driver of our economic growth and it provides good jobs for Singaporeans."
In 2020, it was reported that the sector contributed to about 20 percent of Singapore's GDP and employed about 472,000 workers.
The sector is also guided by government roadmaps that lay out strategies so Singapore can achieve its goal of being a global innovation and talent hub for advanced manufacturing, he said.
"At the core of these initiatives is the successful adoption of the industry 4.0 technologies as well as developing a higher-skilled and more productive local workforce," he added.
WSG has also introduced a Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Industry 4.0 professionals, executives, and associates.
WSG chief executive Tan Choon Shian added, "The shift towards industry 4.0 means manufacturers must adopt a new way of working… Along with digital transformation, jobs need to be redesigned with the intent to build up the human capital capability to support the change."