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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SINGAPORE PHARMBIO GUIDE 2021/2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Talent
Singapore continues to prioritise the development of a highly-skilled workforce with industry-relevant skills for the pharmaceutical sector. This is executed by ensuring a future-ready workforce through skills mastery and life-long learning, as well as building a strong pipeline of fresh graduates with industry-ready experience and capabilities.
To equip Singapore’s workforce with the right skills required by the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, the Singapore government has introduced the Professional Conversion Programme (“PCP”). This programme provides Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (“PMETs”) with the opportunity to be re-skilled and potentially take on a new career in the pharmaceutical sector. To date, more than 400 PMETs have been trained since its introduction in 20143.
In addition to developing technical capabilities, the Singapore government also places an emphasis on building a strong pipeline of leaders for the biopharmaceutical sector. In March 2019, EDB, in partnership with the Biopharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Advisory Council, launched a leadership training workshop for middle and senior managers in the biomedical sciences industry. Known as Project Zodiac, the
workshop aims to help these managers develop self-awareness, adaptive skills, and leadership skills, such as effective communication and problem solving. Today, Project Zodiac has trained about 100 mid-management professionals, with 100 more employees expected to enrol by the end of the year4.
Singapore has also made significant investments to ensure that graduates from local universities have the relevant skill sets for pharmaceutical manufacturing. For example, a talent development programme aimed at building up a pipeline of skilled manpower for the pharmaceutical sector is the Attach and Train (“AnT”) Programme. Through the AnTprogramme,traineesundergoon-the- job training with leading pharmaceutical companies, such as Lonza and Amgen, to deepen their technical competencies. Since its introduction in 2015, AnT continues to see strong uptake by pharmaceutical companies with more than 170 training places filled to date5.
Advanced Manufacturing
Building upon its strong base of existing operations, Singapore has been encouraging companies to transform existing plants with advanced manufacturing and digital solutions to ensure long-term sustainability. Advanced manufacturing is a priority for Singapore, and significant investments have been made in this area to transform Singapore’s
manufacturing landscape. In July 2019, GSK opened its new S$130 million pharmaceutical manufacturing facility at Pioneer, developed as part of the GSK- Economic Development Board 10-year Singapore Manufacturing Roadmap. The plant employs state-of-the-art technology that enables continuous manufacturing instead of the usual batch production. This investment demonstrates GSK’s commitment to Singapore as a key manufacturing and supply site for GSK’s global pharmaceutical business and a testbed for advanced manufacturing technology.
In October 2019, Singapore hosted the second edition of the Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific (“ITAP”) conference. ITAP, the Asian edition of Hannover Messe, brought together manufacturers, technology providers and thought leaders to showcase latest advanced manufacturing technologies and exchange best practices. In 2017, Singapore launched the Smart Industry Readiness Index (“SIRI”) to help companies start, scale and sustain their i4.0 transformation initiatives. One example of a company that has benefited
3 Source: EDB – Scientific American write-up, “Future- Proofed Pharma”, June 2018
4 Source: The Straits Times, “Building leadership, digital skills in biomedical sciences sector”, September 2019
5 Source: EDB – Scientific American write-up, “Future- Proofed Pharma”, June 2018
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