Creating opportunities in a digital future, building strong communities, enabled by a committed Government

24 July 2018, Singapore – Minister for Communications and Information, Mr S Iswaran, speaking at his first Workplan Seminar for the Ministry today, outlined how the Ministry will lead Singapore’s digital transformation to create exciting opportunities for businesses and individuals and build strong and inclusive communities so that everyone can enjoy the fruits of progress together. The work will be enabled by a Government that is committed to upholding high levels of public trust in our institutions.

OPPORTUNITY 

2 Minister Iswaran said the Ministry of Communications & Information (MCI) must lead the way in harnessing digital to create new opportunities for Singapore. To grow the digital economy and implement the Infocomm Media Industry Transformation Map (ICM ITM) launched last year, he announced that the Economic Development Board (EDB), Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will come together to form a single, one-stop office to support the growth of ICM companies. This digital industry office will integrate the three agencies’ work in improving market access, developing enterprises, industry and talent, as well as strategic account management.

3 Minister explained that these new programmes are part of MCI’s overall push to grow the ICM sector. As outlined by the ICM ITM launched last November, the ICM industry  is expected to grow at around 6% annually, and create more than 13,000 new PMET jobs by 2020.

4 MCI will continue to work with companies to develop a skilled infocomm workforce for the Singapore economy through the TechSkills Accelerator programme (TeSA). Minister Iswaran added that since the Committee of Supply debate in March this year, 12,000 more training places for ICT workers have been taken up or committed by companies, which brings a total of 39, 000 TeSA training places being taken up or committed by companies since its launch in 2016.

5 Given how pervasive digital technologies are, and their impact on multiple industries, Minister Iswaran shared his intention to increase the Government’s R&D investment in the Services and Digital Economy domain from the present $360 million. Minister Iswaran added that the Ministry and IMDA will be engaging various companies to develop a technology roadmap with a focus on services and the digital economy, which will guide our future R&D investments.

COMMUNITY


6 Minister Iswaran stressed that MCI will ensure that every Singaporean benefits from Singapore’s digital transformation, by realising our Digital Readiness Blueprint. MCI will make digitalisation inclusive, accessible and user-friendly. MCI and IMDA will expand partnerships with the private and people sectors, including through the following two new initiatives:

a)     SG:D Friends

  • Building on the Friends of Silver Infocomm programme, SG:D Friends offers expanded opportunities for private and public sector organisations to reach out to all segments of the community, including mature adults and seniors, students, low-income families and people with disabilities. 
  • IMDA hopes to work with partners to support the Digital Readiness outreach efforts to 300,000 beneficiaries over the next five years.

b)     Silver Digital Creators

  • IMDA, in partnership the National Library Board (NLB), NTUC LearningHub and Apple, will roll out the Silver Digital Creators (SDC) suite of courses targeted at seniors who have embraced technology and are ready to bring their digital skills to the next level in the area of creativity. 
  • Five courses to bolster the seniors’ creativity skills will be offered. Participants have an option to choose any combination of courses. Those who complete all five courses will receive an Apple Regional Training Centre certificate of recognition.


GOVERNMENT


7 Minister Iswaran highlighted that the Government has an important role to play – in creating the conditions for us to work together, putting in place the enabling infrastructure, and providing transparent, effective and progressive regulations. To this end, MCI will be updating its data regulations such as the Personal Data Protection Act, and shape international agreements to promote cross-border data sharing among trusted partners.

8 As a follow-up to the SingHealth cybersecurity attack last week, Minister Iswaran announced the composition and terms of reference of the Committee of Inquiry (COI). The COI will establish the events and contributory factors leading to the cybersecurity attack, and the incident response. It will also recommend measures to better manage and secure public sector IT systems against similar cybersecurity attacks in future.

9 Minister Iswaran said against the backdrop of rapid technological advancements, MCI and its agencies will deliver better public services, enhance our economic competitiveness, and create good jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans. MCI will also continue to ensure cybersecurity and infrastructural resilience and enhance its regulations.

10 For more information, please visit www.mci.gov.sg/wps2018

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