Opening Remarks by Dr Tan Wu Meng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry and Foreign Affairs, at In Dialogue with Youth, held in conjunction with the SIEW 2018

02 Nov 2018

1. Good morning to all students and educators. It gives me great pleasure to join all of you at today’s “In Dialogue with Youth”.

2. First, let me thank EMA for organising this programme for our young friends. It started back in 2012. Still going strong. Thank you too, Mr Kwong Kok Chan, Deputy GM of PacificLight Power, for sharing your inspiring story with us.

Energy is Critical to Singapore’s Economy and Society

3. The energy sector is a crucial part of our daily lives – even if people do not notice it. Energy powers the factories that manufacture the latest gadgets. It supports cloud computing and the Internet by powering the server farms and the air-conditioning systems that keep the servers cool. It is hard to think of any major modern-day activity, work or play that does not require energy.

4. Singapore’s energy consumption has gone up over the years. So we need to search for more sustainable energy. Lots of work ahead for all of us. Keeping the lights on, while keeping the city green and the skies blue and the air clean. Each of you can be a part of this journey too.

Equipping Youths with the Right Skills to Power the Future Workforce

5. Our people are the key to making the future better. People like you. Within you, is the potential to innovate and be a force for positive change in the energy sector. Every new technology disruption is also an opportunity for people who can embrace and master what is new. Earlier, you heard from Mr Kwong and your friends on stage. You, too, can add your very own chapter to the Singapore energy story.

6. So the Government has introduced three initiatives to help prepare our energy talents for the future. These are the Energy Ambassadors Programme; the Energy-Industry Scholarship; and the two educational videos jointly developed by MOE and EMA.

Announcement 1: Ten Students Appointed under Inaugural Energy Ambassadors Programme

7. First, let me shall start with our Energy Ambassadors. My heartfelt congratulations to the 10 pioneering student ambassadors who have been appointed under the inaugural Energy Ambassadors Programme. To Xing Zi, Joleen, Jing Xuan, Zong Bao, Li Shi, Shu Bao, Kei Seng, Stephen, Chiaki and Mei Ting: Well done! We are so proud of you!

8. While our Energy Ambassadors come from different backgrounds, ranging from secondary schools to Institutions of Higher Learning, what they all have in common is a passion for the energy sector. Our ambassadors will get the opportunity to participate in experiential learning journeys such as the Powering Lives Trails, which will allow them to view energy-related facilities that are normally closed to public. Of course, with great opportunity comes great responsibility, and our young ambassadors are expected to become docents and facilitators for future trails - sharing their insights, inspiring others and paying it forward. And with time, I hope that all of them will go on to become an inspiring community of energy influencers and strong advocates for the sector.

Announcement 2: Four Recipients of Energy-Industry Scholarship for 2018

9. Second, to the four recipients of the Energy-industry Scholarship for 2018, congratulations on receiving your scholarships. You, too, have taken your first steps to be part of Singapore’s energy future. I hope your journey ahead will be a fulfilling one. Let me share more about one of the recipients, Lim Kian Rong, who is currently pursuing his diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Singapore Polytechnic.

10. Kian Rong was inspired by his father, an electrician and sole breadwinner of the family, to take up electrical engineering. With this goal in mind, Kian Rong worked hard and caught the attention of interviewers from Senoko with his passion, perseverance and grit. In his own words: “When I was younger, I noticed that my dad worked very hard and was always coming home late. So I asked him what he was doing in his job. He told me that he was powering people’s homes and making sure their houses were as bright, warm and cosy as ours. With that, he was my hero and I wanted to be like him. I would often help him and watch him fix electrical stuff. So my interest in electrical engineering started from there.”

11. I am very heartened and encouraged by role models like Kian Rong, who are willing to work hard and persevere to achieve their aspirations. Kian Rong, I just want to say: Keep it up, keep on learning and keep on making a difference. I wish you every success in your studies.

Announcement 3: Launch of Two New MOE-EMA Education Videos

12. Third, to bring to life energy concepts taught in class, the Government has also launched the second series of education resource videos jointly created by MOE and EMA. You have just viewed two such videos titled “Cooling Singapore” and “Radiation Safety”. These videos are also available on MOE’s Student Learning Space and on EMA’s Powering Lives Portal. MOE and EMA will continue exploring ways to develop more resources for students like you, on topics ranging from economics to career guidance.

Government Committed to Building a Pool of Young Talent

13. Beyond collaborating with MOE and schools, we are also partnering the industry to create more opportunities for students. One such example is the annual Sembcorp-EMA Energy Challenge, which is part of EMA’s renewed four-year partnership with Sembcorp on manpower and technology. Since its launch in 2014, the Energy Challenge has helped more than 300 students gain a deeper understanding of the energy sector. Later this afternoon, about 120 more students will be taking part in this year’s challenge, which aims to expose participants to the different considerations behind energy-related policy decisions.

14. I was told that the attractive prizes include an internship opportunity at Sembcorp for the winning team! I will be dropping by during the Challenge this afternoon to take a look. I wish the participating students best of luck.

Conclusion

15. In conclusion, the energy sector is critical. We need good people to join us and carry the baton forward. We must start this effort early, beginning with our schools. Young Singaporeans like yourself can help to build Singapore’s energy future together. I would also like to thank our workers – our brothers and sisters from UPAGE and the labour movement, industry captains, HR representatives, and educators here in the audience. Your efforts in inspiring the next generation of energy leaders are greatly appreciated.

16. I look forward to having an engaging discussion with all of you during the dialogue session later. Thank you.
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