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SPEECH BY MR CHANG CHEOW TECK
SINGAPORE TECHNOLOGIES AEROSPACE
AT THE 52nd GRADUATION CEREMONY
THURSDAY, 24 MAY 2012 (SESSION 10)
Members of the Board of Governors,
Mr. Tan Hang Cheong, Principal, Singapore Polytechnic,
And Graduating Students of Singapore Polytechnic,
CONGRATULATING THE GRADUATES
- It is indeed my pleasure to be part of today’s graduation ceremony where we will witness the graduation of close to 450 promising young adults from the Singapore Polytechnic’s School of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering. I want to congratulate each and every one of the graduates on your accomplishment.
- Each of you has achieved a milestone in your life which will prepare you well for your next leg of development in your life. I am aware that a significant proportion of you will be electing to further your studies. Some of you will be choosing to join or rejoin the workforce. Regardless of your path, I am confident that the knowledge and skills you have acquired in Singapore Polytechnic will be valuable assets as you carve out your own path in this world. For those returning to your workplace I am confident your employers are already looking forward to your valued contributions on your return.
- As you consider the future paths that you will take in your career, I would like to take this opportunity to share a bit about the current landscape in the aviation industry.
UNABATED GROWTH IN LOCAL AEROSPACE INDUSTRY
- Most people know that Singapore has one of the world’s best international airports. Around this international air hub, Singapore have also developed a vibrant ecosystem of aviation industry support players over the years. We have over a 100 independent, OEM related companies and governmental agencies providing services ranging from Research & Development, Engineering Design & Development, Systems Integration, Maintenance Repair & Overhaul, Upgrade, Modification and last but not least Manufacturing & Assembly activities. This capable ecosystem is the key element that makes Singapore the regional leader in aviation. Together, the industry achieved a record output of S$7.9 billion and employed over 19,000 workers last year. We achieved this record output despite the global challenges over the last few years.
- Looking ahead, we have reason to believe that the long term prospects of the aviation industry remain strong. Boeing, one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, did a study of the market outlook and found that the world fleet would have to double from 19,410 airplanes in 2010 to 39,530 airplanes in 2030 just to cope with the increase in demand for air traffic. Also, it came as no surprise that the annual growth rates in air traffic were highest in developing countries, including heavy weight Asian economies such as China and India. What this means is that we can be assured of continued growth for the world’s aviation industry and a large part of this growth is going to happen in Asia.
STRONG DEMAND FOR SKILLED MANPOWER
- One of the key challenges that all aerospace companies here will face as they position themselves for the growth is technical talent. We are certainly hoping that a large proportion of the graduates today will consider building their long term career path in the aviation industry. I would like to use the prospects in ST Aerospace to illustrate the career possibilities in aviation that you can consider in Singapore. I would like to introduce briefly ST Aerospace to provide you the context. In 2011, ST Aerospace turned in a revenue of close to $2 billion. Of this $2 billion revenue, 25% is related to Defense and 75% is Commercial Aviation related. In the ST Aerospace group of subsidiaries and related companies, we employ close to 10,000 employees with operations in the United States, Europe, Australia, China and Singapore. In Singapore alone, we have 5,000 plus employees, and this represents close to 25% of Singapore’s aviation related workforce today. In ST Aerospace, you can look forward to careers in Engineering and Development as we have long term programs like the Commercial Aircraft Passenger to Freighter engineering developments that we do for both the Boeing and Airbus series of aircraft. For the Airbus 330 Passenger To Freighter program, ST Aerospace is the exclusive engineering partner to Airbus. We are also developing Unmanned Aerial Systems and in fact, we are very excited to have partnered Singapore Polytechnic through a standing MOU to nurture talents in Unmanned Aerial Systems. This MOU with Singapore Polytechnic will allow interested students to undertake this effort as part of the core Polytechnic syllabus. In the area of Commercial Aircraft Maintenance, ST Aerospace is the World’s Largest Commercial Airframe Maintenance Company. Through our global network of companies, ST Aerospace generates close to 9 million airframe maintenance and modification man hours a year. In this area of business, graduates can look forward to a fulfilling career as engineering and technical specialists, as license aircraft engineers or excel in management.
As part of career development, we also offer scholarships to our diploma holders to pursue degree courses in relevant specialties. With our overseas business footprint, overseas posting opportunities also abound. ST Aerospace is glad to be a truly Singapore Home Grown Multi-National providing her staff with growth opportunities worldwide.
MAKING IT BIG WITH A DIPLOMA
- The growth of our company is highly dependent on the contributions of talented and committed staff. In return we hope to provide them fulfilling careers in the company. I would like to take this opportunity to share some success stories of your seniors in our company.
- Mr. Stephen Lim graduated in 1979 and worked as a technical specialist in aircraft maintenance. He was subsequently granted a scholarship to pursue his degree in Aerospace Engineering in RMIT. Stephen rose in the ranks was further sent to Wharton for executive training. Stephen was posted to the United States and today he is the President of one of our aircraft maintenance companies with close to 1000 Americans working under him. His 3 children have all schooled in the United States and currently 2 have graduated from college and 1 is about to enter college.
- Mr. Yek Sing Chee graduated in 1979 and joined our Engineering Development Center and over the years honed his engineering knowledge and skills, becoming a technical specialist in electrical systems designs for aircraft. Today he is the Director of the Electrical Systems Division.
- Mr. Ng Boon Chin graduated in 1999 with a Diploma and joined our aircraft maintenance business as a trainee in 2002. Boon Chin was subsequently sponsored to go through the Licensed Aircraft Engineer training and became a fully certified Licensed Aircraft Engineer in 2005. Boon Chin subsequently opted for a managerial path and was subsequently sponsored by the company for his degree in Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance.
- The above are perhaps only but a few of the many success stories of graduates from the Singapore Polytechnic. Year after year, the Singapore Polytechnic had produced the best and brightest graduates and they have all become an important part of the Singapore success story. I hope that today I have helped you understand the growth potential of our local aviation industry and the exciting career prospects that you might find within the industry. Regardless of where your career aspirations lie, you must be proud that you are the product of a strong lineage of success of the Singapore Polytechnic. And that the diploma that you are about to receive is a testament that you have completed the rigorous training of the Singapore Polytechnic and are certainly prepared with the strong foundations to take on whatever challenges tomorrow might bring.
- I would like to end by wishing each of you all the best wishes for a bright future ahead. Take Care and Thank you.