S$120 million plan to grow talent pool in growing infocomm sector

April 11, 20165:22 pm687 views

The Government will set aside S$120 million for various programmes to train up talents in the growing infocomm sector, said Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim on Monday (April 11).

Noting that an additional 30,000 jobs in this sector is expected to open up by 2020, Dr Yaacob said it is important to not only have enough computing science or IT places in institutes of higher learning (IHLs), but that these students have work-ready skills, while ensuring current workers in the sector can easily renew their skills — in high demand areas such as software development, data analytics and cybersecurity, for instance.

To that end, the Government will start a structured internship and mentorship programme to help students build their portfolios and gain entry-level skills and experience before they graduate, called the
Industry Preparation for Pre-Graduates (iPREP) Programme.

The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) will be working with the IHLs to select students to undergo this programme from the 6,000 or so students from each infocomm cohort. The Government said it hoped to increase the supply of professionals by 2,400 this way over three years.

In terms of supporting those already in the sector, the existing Company-Led Training programme will be expanded, in order to help more than 1,000 of these professionals each year, up from 160 today.

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Mid-level professionals are also expected to benefit from the the 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.

IDA’S Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme (CITREP) will also be expanded to help entry-level professionals to start acquiring ICT skills and professional certifications early in their careers.

To woo mid-career switchers to the infocomm sector, the capacity for Tech Immersion and Placement programmes will be ramped up, with the aim to reach more than 1,000 trainees over the next three years, especially those with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math backgrounds. These programmes comprise boot camps that provide short but immersive training for people with no background or industry experience in tech, but who have interest in a tech career.

Lastly, the TechSkills Accelerator, which was announced in Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat’s Budget speech, will be anchored by major employers in the sector, including the new Government Technology Agency, Singtel, Mediacorp, ST Electronics, Integrated Health Information Systems, DBS and UOB.

The TechSkills Accelerator is to identify specific skills and work with specialised training providers to deliver skills training, develop industry-recognised skills standards and certification, and work with anchor employers to commit to hiring based on certified skills proficiency.

news source: todayonline.com

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