Ms He Ting Ru: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry given the shift to low and zero emissions mobility (a) what is the estimated impact on jobs and trades in the fossil fuel and traditional automotive industries; and (b) what steps is the Ministry taking now to ensure that there will not be a shortage of skilled electrical engineers and workers when the economy transitions to such vehicles.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade & Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing
1. We do not expect the shift to low emissions mobility to result in significant job losses in Singapore.
2. Our petrochemical companies will continue to stay relevant as petrochemical products are important inputs to the manufacturing of widely-used products, ranging from diapers, to rubber tyres and surgical masks, and even in the specialty chemicals sector, which continues to see significant growth in demand from Asia.
3. In the automotive industry, the shift would require our existing transport and maintenance workers to gradually work with hybrid or electrified platforms. Some of our transport workers would already be familiar with the new platforms. Currently, approximately two in five taxis are either hybrid or fully electric. We are also steadily ramping up the deployment of electric buses since April 2020. Our maintenance workers will need to upgrade their skills to maintain electric vehicle (EV) components and charging systems. In December 2020, the Government supported the setting up of the Singapore Motor Workshop Association (SMWA) training facility to equip our maintenance workers with such new skills. We will continue to support our workers in acquiring new competencies required in a hybrid and electrified mobility landscape.
4. We view low emissions mobility as the future of mobility in a carbon constrained world, and an opportunity for Singapore. We have been taking steps to grow the EV industry in Singapore by attracting investments across the mobility value chain, including from companies like Hyundai which will assemble EVs locally, and Borgwarner, Continental and Infineon which carry out R&D, design and manufacturing of EV components in Singapore. These investments will create exciting job opportunities in areas such as (i) advanced manufacturing, (ii) R&D and design of EVs and its components, and (iii) software engineering. Government agencies will continue to work with companies, training providers and the unions to prepare Singaporeans to take on these jobs. I am confident that our highly educated and skilled workforce will rise to the occasion.