#Asia Singapore government earmarks US$89.1M to boost ICT talent pool

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The government also announced the launch of an iPREP programme to make tech students more employable after graduation

Singapore FINAL

The government has said aside S$120 million (US$89.1 million) over the next three years to “support training efforts in developing infocomm manpower capabilities” and address future needs, said Minister for Communications and Information Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, in a speech today at the Committee of Supply Debate.

The impetus for the financing is a projected demand for an additional 30,000 positions in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector by 2020.

“As demand far outstrips current supply, and because the landscape is changing so rapidly, it is difficult to meet company needs for skilled manpower without non-Singaporeans entirely,” said Ibrahim in the speech.

Also Read: A Singaporean acquisition story you have never heard

The government will work to build up ICT skill-sets through training programmes, internships, mentorship partnerships and certification courses. The skills the government will focus on include software development, data analytics, cybersecurity, as well as network & infrastructure.

In conjunction with the government fund, Ibrahim announced the launch of the Industry Preparation for Pre-Graduates (iPREP) Programme which aims to help the 6,000 or so students on an ICT development track build skills for employability by providing internship and mentorship opportunities.

Ibrahim said he hopes in three years iPREP will add 2,400 people to the talent pool. The programme will work with Singapore’s institutes of higher learning to try and achieve this goal.

Also, the government will continue the development of the Code@SG movement which exposes children to coding and computational thinking.

For working professionals in Singapore, the government will increase its support Company-led Training programmes (CLTs) which help people without a formal tech education develop important skill-sets.

“We will expand our CLT programmes to help more than a thousand professionals each year, compared to 160 today,” said Ibrahim in the speech.

On a similar note, the Infocomm Development Authority’s (IDA) Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme (CITREP), which aims to help experienced professionals deepen their knowledge, will be expanded to include entry level professionals.

Tech immersion and placement programmes will be ramped up to support Singaporean trainees and especially those with a STEM education background.

Ibrahim also announced partnerships between the TechSkills Accelerator — which was announced at the end of March — and the new Government Technology Agency, Singtel, Mediacorp, ST Electronics, Integrated Health Information Systems, DBS and UOB.

The goal is to make the TechSkills Accelerator a flagship programme for Singapore.

Also Read: LinkedIn launches US$59M data centre in Singapore; first outside of US

Ibrahim wrapped up the speech by saying: “We are also ramping up our efforts to grow a strong Singapore Core in the infocomm media and design sectors – sectors that offer good jobs for Singaporeans, and also play an important role in helping to transform the rest of the economy towards an innovation-led growth.”

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

 

 

 

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