Young people have been urged to consider a career in logistics, an industry described by the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Health as an "exciting and interesting" one that offers an invaluable service to businesses.

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim told more than 400 students and logistics industry employees yesterday: "You will also have the chance to learn about diverse industries and companies, and gain exposure to international cultures.

"The change you can effect through innovative solutions in supply chain management is tangible, delivering cost savings, greater efficiency or higher customer satisfaction."

Dr Faishal, who was speaking at the Young Logistics Professionals Forum, added that the industry is also "never short on training opportunities" and can help young people progress in their careers.

The event discussed manpower issues and initiatives in the logistics and transportation sector, which employed 220,200 workers and contributed about 8 per cent of Singapore's economic output last year.

Dr Faishal noted that Singapore has gained global acclaim as an international logistics hub with world-class sea and air ports.

But it is critical to ensure that it grooms and develops a skilled and efficient workforce in order to enhance its competitive edge, he said.

Government agencies and industry bodies like the Singapore Logistics Association (SLA), a trade group for companies in the sector, have started numerous initiatives to develop talent.

For instance, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore has partnered employers in the aviation sector to develop a scholarship.

The programme allows fresh Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduates or diploma holders to be hired upon graduation and have the chance to further their studies with partial sponsorship by their employers.

The ITE has also recently introduced a new course in shipping operations and services to train young people for the sector.

The SLA's training arm, The Logistics Academy, offers diploma and advanced diploma courses in supply chain management for ITE graduates.

"SLA has committed itself to the nurturing, training and empowerment of a skilled logistics workforce to support this fast-growing industry, since our establishment forty years ago," said its first deputy chairman, Mr Thomas Sim, at the forum.

Yesterday's event at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre was organised by the SLA.

A book co-authored by the SLA and SIM University (UniSIM) was also launched yesterday. It covers the logistics and supply chain management industry here and features a compilation of real-life case studies.

The book is for students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, which is offered by UniSIM and was developed by the university and the SLA.