Singapore develops plan to support influx of biomanufacturing

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Singapore: further investment in biomanufacturing infrastructure
Singapore: further investment in biomanufacturing infrastructure

Related tags Industry

Industry heavyweights and Singaporean development groups have unveiled a five-year roadmap to deal with the need for more employees in the fast-growing biologics manufacturing industry on the island.

Jointly developed with the support of AbbVie, Amgen, Baxter, GlaxoSmithKline, Lonza, Novartis and Roche, the Sectoral Manpower Development Plan (SMDP) examines the future demand and supply of skilled manpower and available career progression, and recommends a set of strategies covering three main priority areas:

  • How to meet the high demand for skilled manpower;
  • Improve the relevance of training programmes; and
  • Attract and retain talent.

The biologics manufacturing sector has grown rapidly over the past few years and we expect continued strong interest from the industry. This sector creates highly skilled jobs and offers excellent career progression opportunities​,” said Yeoh Keat Chuan, Managing Director of EDB.

Leading biopharmaceutical companies currently operate 29 commercial-scale manufacturing sites in Singapore. Just this year, Amgen​, Baxter​ and AbbVie​ launched manufacturing sites in Singapore. Over the past five years, the biologics manufacturing industry has attracted $2.7bn in investments over nine manufacturing facilities by various key industry players.

At a steady state, the manufacturing facilities will employ close to 2,000 people in total, according to the plan. In addition, the local workforce is set to expand by an additional 700 to 1,000 high-value jobs over the next four years.

Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, said: “The SMDP is a good example of how employers and Government agencies have come together in a collaborative effort to build and value skills. Going forward, WDA will continue to work closely with employers across various sectors to enable individuals to advance based on skills and mastery under the ambit of SkillsFuture​.”

The SMDP for the Biologics Manufacturing industry will be incorporated into a more comprehensive sectoral manpower strategy for the wider biopharma sector, which will identify sector-specific career progression pathways and skills requirements, as well as outline initiatives to help Singaporeans to advance in these pathways.

Aart Buiter, BMAC HR Workstream Co-Lead, added: “The successful launch of the SMDP showcases a model public-private collaboration whereby both the Singapore Government and BMAC work very closely to put in place a holistic forward-looking plan poised to support the growth of the Biologics Manufacturing industry. The SMDP is a significant milestone in realising both BMAC’s and Singapore’s vision of establishing Singapore as the country of choice for global biomedical sciences manufacturing​.”

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