$10m fund to draw S'poreans into medtech

$10m fund to draw S'poreans into medtech

To get more Singaporeans into the medical technology or medtech industry, $10 million has been set aside for the next two years by the Employment and Employability Institute and Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

This is to help firms attract and train people, for instance by subsidising on-the-job training.

Firms can also tap the funds for productivity consultancy services and improvements such as automation and job redesign.

The idea is that productivity improvements can drive wage increases, making the sector more attractive to workers here.

The MedTech Industry Transformation Initiative, supported by the Economic Development Board, is expected to benefit about 1,500 local workers.

Three companies - Baxter Healthcare SA (Singapore Branch), Becton Dickinson Medical and Edwards Lifesciences (Singapore) - have signed on for the pilot phase. Together, they employ 40 per cent of the medtech workforce here.

Though the sector hires just 10,000 workers, its output rose from $1.86 billion in 2002 to $4.25 billion last year.

WDA acting chief executive Goh Eng Ghee said that the training body will work closely with the industry to develop skills upgrading programmes for local talent.

For Becton Dickinson Medical plant manager James Hui, building a better-skilled workforce also means good career development for his workers.

"I believe it will make them more productive and help the company as well," he added.

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