JTC and Industry Partners Showcase Manufacturing Career Opportunities in Fast-Growing Biopharma Industry

In support of Singapore’s Manufacturing 2030 Plan to attract more locals to the manufacturing sector, JTC and 16 Biopharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Advisory Council (BMAC) companies, launched the inaugural Biopharma Industry Day. With support from Economic Development Board, Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), e2i and Workforce Singapore, close to 1,800 students and job seekers engaged companies and participated in exclusive behind-the-scenes plant tours.

  1. The biopharma industry is experiencing rapid growth, further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Manufacturing output from the sector has increased 3 folds over two decades. In 2020, S$16 billion worth of products were produced in Singapore to serve the healthcare needs of patients globally, helping people live longer and healthier. To meet greater demand for new treatments like cell therapy, companies are looking to fill specialised roles such as Biotechnologists, Automation Engineers, and Microbiologists.
  2. JTC is working with industry partners to showcase manufacturing career opportunities through flagship industry events, as part of its Industry Connect initiative which links businesses with the IHLs and partner agencies on talent outreach efforts. To-date, close to 8,000 talents have been engaged through JTC’s Industry Days for advanced manufacturing, electronics, biopharma, and aerospace sectors across its estates. This is the second Industry Day this year, following the successful run of Electronics Industry Day in January, which saw 30 companies and 2,000 participants.
  3. Mr Cheong Wee Lee, Director, Biomedical & Electronics Cluster, JTC, said, “Our series of Industry Days connecting companies and the Institutes of Higher Learning is a prime example of how we can increase awareness of exciting and rewarding careers across the manufacturing sector. It is important that we step up efforts to change perceptions towards manufacturing, as there remains many bright sparks within the sector.”
  4. Mr Lim Hock Heng, Co-Chair of BMAC and Vice President & Site Director of GlaxoSmithKline, said, “Over the years, BMAC has established and advanced Singapore’s biopharma industry to invest in developing our talent pipeline, innovation efforts and participate in various community initiatives. We are happy to come together as an industry, collaborate with government agencies and academia, to highlight the meaningful work we are doing for patients and encourage more to join us.”
  5. Dr Lim Boon Whatt, Director, School of Applied Science, Republic Polytechnic, said, “Grooming a future-ready workforce and retaining talent is key to the sustainable growth of the biopharma sector. Through our close industry collaborations, Republic Polytechnic nurtures our students to become industry professionals. By helping to bring together the industry and the Institutes of Higher Learning for the Biopharma Industry Day, we hope that students and adult learners can get to appreciate the various career opportunities within this blossoming sector.”
  6. As the biopharma sector continues to see strong growth, many companies offering promising career opportunities are scouting for good talent. Many individuals have fulfilling careers in the sector, spanning the full value chain from validation specialists, to production in cell and gene therapy and quality assurance roles.
  7. “My interest in cell and gene therapy was what led me to my line of work. It offers a new paradigm for the global healthcare landscape, and exposes me to hands-on work such as planning product releases and reviewing manufacturing batch records. Knowing that my work has a direct impact on the lives of millions of patients gives me a good sense of accomplishment,” said Ms Emily Tan, Quality Assurance Specialist in Cell and Gene Therapy from Lonza Singapore.
  8. Mr Lim Rui Xian, Production Engineer, GlaxoSmithKline, has rotated across different job roles in the value chain since joining in 2015. “Being at the centre of action on site, I oversee the entire manufacturing process to ensure consistent supply of medicine to patients. We also emphasize greatly on the safety of our operators and environment, while adhering strict compliance to regulations to ensure good quality product. Apart from loving the diversity of my role, being able to apply my knowledge and skills to shape the future of healthcare and enhance patient experience makes working in this industry most fulfilling.” he shared.

Enhancing the vibrancy of Tuas Biomedical Park to create a conducive work environment for businesses and talent

  1. In addition to talent attraction efforts, JTC is working closely with partners and businesses to rejuvenate industrial estates. New estate enhancements initiatives are expected to be completed by this year, to create a more attractive environment for talent and companies in Tuas Biomedical Park.
    1. The estate will take on a new identity with rebranded signages featuring biomedical and DNA Helix designs to bring out the unique identity of Tuas Biomedical Park as an attractive work destination.
    2. To enhance the estate greenery and promote environmental sustainability, JTC partnered NParks and BMAC companies on a Plant-a-Tree initiative. To-date, a total donation commitment in excess of $100,000 have been raised by the community. The first phase of tree planting started in March this year and will complete by July 2021.