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Supporting Local Talent with a Global Footprint in Singapore

May 10, 2019
When you’re operating a global company like GE, it’s hard to overstate the importance of local talent. People are the foundations on which any effective company is built, which means developing those people is an essential part of the journey towards ensuring success.
Since its first factory was opened in Singapore in 1969, GE has been proudly supporting talent development for its workers in the country. With five decades’ experience operating in Singapore, and over 4,000 employees spread throughout offices and manufacturing sites, it’s important to remember what a difference that makes to the company, but also to individuals. That’s why cases like that of 42-year old Alan Yeo, aircraft component repair technician at GE Aviation, is a tale of development that represents such an important story for an individual, and for an organisation.

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Alan has been a member of the team at GE Aviation Engine Services Singapore for more than a year, bringing over a decade of manufacturing experience to this state-of-the-art facility. His path through education and employment was not a steady one at times. With only a primary school leaving certificate, Alan moved to enroll at the Institute of Technical Education, only to have to withdraw at the age of 16 due to family reasons. Alan went on to become an apprentice in plastic modelling, expanding his practical skills through his work until switching to the aviation manufacturing industry at the age of 30.

That commitment to personal development saw Alan acquire the skills necessary to become an aircraft component repair technician, making him a valued member of the GE Aviation team. But Alan wanted to take his professional development further. That’s where GE’s support on a Professional Conversion Program came in, thanks to the timely intervention of Alan’s friend.

“He told me he joined an aerospace company and was able to study and acquire the qualifications to be a technician at the same time. To be able to study full-time during employment was something I have never heard of, so I decided to give it a try,” said Alan.

The right support at the right time

GE Aviation, Engine Services - Singapore is a high technology facility providing aircraft engine component manufacturing and repair services. It is driven by a team of over 2,200 individuals, providing world-leading services to customers and partners from around the globe. Unlocking the best of local talent is vital to ensuring the facility maintains its exceptional international standards.

Support from Alan’s management at GE Aviation provided him with the time to take part in this important development programme, run by Temasek Polytechnic. It offered the opportunity to study and work on real aircraft in a studio, enhancing Alan’s knowledge of the parts and components that he worked on each day through practical tests and exams.

“This knowledge and practical skills have helped me at work. I have a better understanding of the accuracy of my work, which affects the flight of an airplane in the air… In our industry, we need to be very responsible. We work as a team and each of us plays an important role,” said Alan.

Development never stops

In a dynamic and competitive business environment, organisations need to evolve to keep up. When it comes to talent, that means supporting your workers to develop their skills, so their skills can support your goals as a business. For Alan, that ambition to develop hasn’t stopped, he is now planning to enroll in a three-year professional diploma course in the aerospace industry.

GE is a global company built on a commitment to local talent. That’s why GE invests over US$1 billion annually in talent development around the world. With over 10,000 employees in ASEAN spread from Singapore to Myanmar, Manila to Kuala Lumpur, that support for development is alive and strong in the region. With a personal story like Alan’s, you begin to appreciate the true value that investment can bring.