Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry in view of the growing inflow of investments to build electric cars and auxiliary technology in Singapore (a) how many jobs can this new industry provide; and (b) how can Singaporeans better prepare to take on these jobs.
Oral Answer (to be attributed to Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Dr Koh Poh Koon or Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Mr Chee Hong Tat)
1. Attracting investments to build electric cars is part of our larger strategy to develop a smart mobility ecosystem in Singapore. This ecosystem includes hardware such as highly automated vehicle assembly and automotive component manufacturing, as well as software such as smart mobility platforms. This in turn will create many more new jobs. For instance, Dyson’s new automotive manufacturing facility in Singapore will require more engineers. Grab’s new R&D centre at one-north can house 3,000 employees.
2. A vibrant smart mobility ecosystem will not only create new jobs, but also benefit adjacent industries which we have already established here. Our semiconductor companies, such as STMicroelectronics, will see increased demand for high-value automotive electronics including sensors, processors, communication and power electronics. Our ICT companies, such as Singtel, will benefit from the demand in secured and reliable communications systems. Our financial institutions can also develop new financial or insurance products for the mobility businesses.
3. Smart mobility is a rapidly evolving industry. While we cannot provide exact numbers now, MTI is confident that the whole ecosystem including the supporting industries will create many diverse and exciting jobs.
4. Government agencies will continue to work with companies, training providers and the unions to prepare Singaporeans to take on these jobs. For instance, for manufacturing-related jobs, we have been supporting workers to learn and adopt Industry 4.0 technologies. To grow a pipeline of software engineers who can develop mobility solutions, we have also been supporting various AI and data analytics training programmes. I encourage Singaporeans to take advantage of these training opportunities to upgrade their skills, and prepare themselves for these new opportunities.