Parliament Sitting on 6 January 2020
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
16. Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information what is being done to train Singaporeans to pursue a career in information technology.
Digitalisation creates exciting opportunities for both Singaporeans and enterprises who seek to benefit from the growth of the digital economy. MCI and IMDA have a range of initiatives to help Singaporeans from diverse backgrounds seize new employment opportunities in information technology, as well as manage career challenges caused by digital disruption. These include upskilling courses for ICT professionals, reskilling courses for working Singaporeans who wish to move from other sectors into ICT job roles, and programmes to encourage students to embark on an ICT career. These initiatives are designed to help match and prepare Singaporeans with the demands and requirements of the new ICT job roles, so that they can fully benefit from the emerging job opportunities.
2. For working adults hoping to pursue an ICT career, the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) programme provides training for ICT job roles that are in demand by the industry. To date, more than 93,000 training places have been taken up or committed since TeSA started in 2016. In total, more than 4300 companies have upskilled their existing ICT workforce and a further 900 have employed individuals trained through TeSA. TeSA’s Company-Led Training Programme works with private-sector companies to provide on-the-job training to fresh graduates and experienced professionals. Trainees build up their tech skills by working on industry projects and through interactions with tech practitioners and business users. As of Oct 2019, 50 companies have participated in the programme since its inception, and all trainees have secured full-time jobs upon completion of their training.
3. For ICT professionals who wish to upskill themselves in emerging areas with strong industry demand, such as Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Cybersecurity and Internet of Things, the Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme Plus (CITREP+) helps them gain specialised ICT skills through short-form training and certifications.
4. In addition, MCI and IMDA are stepping up efforts to ensure that mid-career PMETs and those hoping to take on an ICT job role are able to adapt to challenges brought about by technological changes in industry. The Tech Immersion and Placement Programme (TIPP) provides an immersive training course delivered by industry practitioners. As of Oct 2019, about 1,400 trainees have completed TIPP with a more than 90% job placement in companies ranging from start-ups to large enterprises. Mid-career professionals are also encouraged to leverage TeSA’s integrated career services, a career support ecosystem, to get career guidance, mentoring, and support for better job matching.
5. Our trade associations are also actively contributing their efforts to help locals. Under the Career Compass initiative, the Singapore Computer Society has provided experienced ICT mentors to partner with career centres managed by Workforce Singapore. SGTech has also been helping to manage some Professional Conversion Programmes with platform companies such as Salesforce to help train and place locals into jobs. MCI and IMDA will continue to provide Singaporeans with the means to reskill, upskill, and seize better job opportunities in the digital economy.
6. In an increasingly technologically driven world, we must support future generations of Singaporeans to lead and thrive in the digital age. To interest school-going Singaporeans to develop ICT skills, IMDA has programmes such as the "Code for Fun" enrichment programme to inspire students and develop their computational thinking. IMDA’s tertiary talent development programme provides scholarships and global exposure opportunities for tertiary students through immersion programmes and international competitions. For example, the Industry Preparation for Pre-graduates (iPREP) equips ITE, Polytechnic and University students with relevant skillsets for an ICT career through work attachments and overseas internships. Tertiary institutions have also expanded the number of places offered in ICT-related programmes to encourage more students to specialise in information technology.
7. MCI will continue to work with our partners to enable Singaporeans to take on good ICT jobs and fully benefit from Singapore’s growing digital economy.