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MCI sets aside S$120 million to address Singapore’s ICT manpower needs

Nurdianah Md Nur | April 11, 2016
The move aims to fill 30,000 new ICT jobs by 2020.

Infocomm professionals in Singapore can look forward to receiving more help to upgrade their skills in future.

The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) recently announced that it will allocate S$120 million for training both current and future infocomm professionals. Half of this amount was spent over four years previously, reported The Straits Times (ST).

According to Channel NewsAsia, MCI's Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said that the move aims to fill 30,000 new ICT jobs by 2020. He added that MCI will focus its efforts in high demand areas such as software development, data analytics, cybersecurity, and networks and infrastructure.

Support for existing ICT professionals

For current ICT professionals, MCI will expand its Company-Led Training (CLT) programmes to help more than 1,000 professionals annually. "Mid-level professionals will now also benefit from local and overseas training and attachments to build expertise and competencies for jobs in demand, especially in emerging tech areas like cyber security and analytics," said Dr Yaacob.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) will also extend its Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme (CITREP) to entry-level professionals to help them acquire relevant skills early in their careers. Before this, CITREP only helped mid-level professionals take up short courses and certifications.

Additionally, IDA will enhance its accelerated Tech Immersion and Placement programmes, which provide quick training and job opportunities for people with no background in tech but are interested in such a career. More than 1,000 Singaporean trainees are expected to benefit from these programmes in the next three years, said Dr Yaacob.

Besides that, MCI will work closely with industry partners to grow the Technology Skills Accelerator, a new skills development and job placement hub that offers training and career advice to ICT professionals in Singapore. "A new feature of the TechSkills Accelerator is that the partnership will be anchored by major employers in the sector. This is important because employers must also themselves want to develop a strong Singapore core and offer competitive remuneration to recognise skills achievement, and not just paper qualifications," said Dr Yaacob.

"I am happy to confirm that several anchor employers, including the new Government Technology Agency, Singtel, Mediacorp, ST Electronics, Integrated Health Information Systems, DBS and UOB, have already committed to be a part of the TechSkills Accelerator," he added.

Nurturing upcoming talents
As for students, MCI will launch an Industry Preparation for Pre-Graduates (iPrep) Programme that targets 6,000 students from infocomm disciplines annually.

"Today, our estimates indicate that a significant proportion of them do not enter the sector upon graduation. [According to IDA and its stakeholders, one reason for this] is that employers are looking for applicants with strong experience, even prior to graduation," said Dr Yaacob.


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