NTU holds first career fair for growing engineering services sector

Eight companies, including Fortune 500 firm Jacobs Engineering Group along with Sembcorp and Hyflux, had jobs up for grabs at the fair. More than 80 jobs were available including design engineering and project management positions. A total of 450 students were expected to attend.

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Here's is the press release from NTU in full With big demand for engineering graduates here, Fortune 500 firms and top MNCs are seeking to hire final-year students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to fill new positions in the rapidly expanding Engineering Services sector. NTU has one of the world's largest engineering colleges on a single campus, with some 10,000 engineering undergraduates a year.

Eight companies including Fortune 500 company Jacobs Engineering Group, global conglomerate Foster Wheeler, as well as home-grown listed companies Hyflux and Sembcorp Industries are part of a special networking event to attract more NTU students to the Engineering Services sector - one of Singapore's most vibrant industries and a key enabler to the development of industrial plants and infrastructure.

The increasing demand for quality manpower is fuelled by Asia's rapidly expanding physical infrastructure and industrial activities to meet the needs of its growing population.

Held for the first time at NTU, the networking event with more than 80 jobs on offer has been specially organised by NTU and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) to attract students to the Engineering Services sector. It currently accounts for about 1.2% of Singapore's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs about 37,000 people, of which more than 70% are PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians).

"To capitalise on the infrastructure boom in Asia, many leading engineering services companies have established regional execution control tower operations in Singapore," said Mr Goh Chee Kiong, Executive Director, Cleantech, Building and Infrastructure Solutions at EDB.

"They have decision-making influence over regional operations and projects, and perform high value activities such as engineering design, project management and procurement. These companies provide exciting career options for young Singaporean graduates through international project and leadership development opportunities."

As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted at the Group of 20 meeting (G20) last month, investing in infrastructure is key for Asia's future as it is the best way to boost demand over the medium term and increase competitiveness. Continued industrial investments in Asia would also be creating jobs for the growing population.

With Asia well-positioned for growth, Singapore's engineering services sector is expected to ride on this wave, and grow by about 5-6% annually between now and 2020. Singapore is also expected to capitalise on the region's population boom and become the thought leader for urban solutions, including urban planning transport systems and environmental solutions.

Prof Ng Wun Jern, Dean, College of Engineering at NTU said, "It's significant that more than six months before our undergraduates sit for their final exams, companies are already knocking on our doors to meet and recruit our students".

"As Singapore moves towards high-tech value-added industries, we will need many engineers to fuel the next phase of our economic growth. Around the region, there will be increasing instances of air hubs, super highways, high speed trains and next generation manufacturing. So the career prospects for engineers are bright, as companies step up their hiring of new talents."

"Through networking events like this, students can better understand the changing technological demands of today's and tomorrow's world. Engineers today work in a dynamic and challenging environment and have job scopes which involve multi-disciplinary themes. Leadership, communication skills, IP savviness and even knowledge of financial models are knowledge sets required of engineers going forward", Professor Ng added.

"The strong presence from employers at this inaugural networking event is a sure sign that there's a real and growing demand for people with strong skills and knowledge who can contribute to the Engineering Services sector." said Mr Loh Pui Wah, Director, Career and Attachment Office at NTU.

"Between these companies, there are many mega projects they are working on, and they need to find top talents in these projects, using Singapore as a springboard into the region," Mr Loh added.

The high demand for engineering jobs in Singapore is evident in a recent industry survey that highlighted that engineers rank among the top six most in-demand jobs here this year.

One firm represented at the event is Sembcorp Industries, a world leading energy, water and marine group and the largest waste management company in Southeast Asia. Sembcorp Industries is looking to increase its numbers of skilled engineers, including from NTU following its positive experience with the University's graduates.

"Sembcorp has had a number of NTU alumni from the school of engineering with us over the years, ranging from undergraduate degree holders to PhD graduates in various engineering disciplines. Many of them have done well and have been promoted to more senior roles and become key members of our operations teams since they joined," said Mr Gan Yen Piau, Senior Vice President of Group Human Resource at Sembcorp Industries.

The networking event is open to all NTU students in engineering and the sciences in their final and penultimate year of study.