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More manpower support announced for growing aviation sector

WITH its “good growth momentum” even as some other sectors show weakening, aviation is an important hedge in Singapore’s diversified economy, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo.

To keep Singaporean aviation competitive, Ministry of Manpower statutory board Workforce Singapore (WSG) announced expanded salary support for retraining programmes in the aviation industry on Monday, building on an earlier scheme launched last year.

“If you look at the medium-term and longer-term developments, particularly related to our plans to develop Terminal Five and the expansion of the Changi air hub, there are very good growth opportunities,” said Mrs Teo.

“In the process of helping to take advantage of this growth, companies are also minded to transform themselves. In other words, they want to grow in terms of their topline. But in terms of their manpower, they have to find better ways of managing it.”

To support manpower needs in the sector, WSG has rolled out a new Redeployment Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) expected to benefit 100 air transport workers.

The Redeployment PCP defrays up to 70 per cent of salary costs for citizens and permanent residents, capped at S$4,000 per month and a total of six months, to reskill full-time employees for a new or enhanced position within a given air transport company.

Citizens over age 40 enjoy a raised cap of 90 per cent and S$6,000 per month.

WSG has also doubled the capacity of its existing Adapt and Grow PCP for Air Transport Professionals, rolled out in February last year, from 100 places to 200.

The Adapt and Grow PCP also defrays salary costs for the same period and with the same caps, but targets mid-career professionals seeking to transition from outside the industry into airport ground handling, airport management and airline operation and management.

The original 100 places have already been fully utilised, and SATS has committed to support a total of 100 employees across the two WSG aviation programmes.

Speaking at a tour of SATS’ inflight catering facilities, Mrs Teo said that the “broad directions” for the Singapore economy are internationalisation, a diversified economy, and improving productivity amidst land and labour constraints.

“Exactly how you pursue innovation in each sector ... will have a dynamic process. You will keep adjusting. But the broad directions, you will have to keep pushing.”