Amidst the transformation in Singapore’s infocomm media (ICM) industry, more than 13,000 new job openings are projected to be created for professionals, managers, executives, and technicians (PMETs) by 2020. During the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) one-year anniversary celebration on Friday (Nov 3), Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim unveiled the Industry Transformation Map for the sector.
Dr Yaacob said that within the next three years, the industry is expected to absorb more than 210,000 workers, indicating an upsurge from about 194,000 workers in 2016. Rapid development in the sector will also serve as a growth multiplier for other sectors in the country, with its value-add estimated to expand at about 6 percent annually – almost twice as fast as the overall economy.
As part of the S$4.5 billion Industry Transformation Programme directed by the Future Economy Council, the ICM blueprint encompasses some developing roadmaps for 23 industries that will be used to address issues within each industry. The transformation map will help prepare the infocomm sector by investing and enhancing capabilities in four key technologies, including artificial intelligence, data analytics cybersecurity, immersive media, and Internet of Things (IoT).
The industry will also take part in supporting companies from other sectors to adopt digital technology that will improve productivity and efficiency through the Industry Digital Plans for SMEs. Additionally, it also aims to prepare the next generation of ICM professionals and organisations for future job roles, Channel News Asia reports.
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Given that artificial intelligence is one of the four key technologies that will transform the ICM sector, Singapore has already begun investing in it. Dr Yaacob said that while AI might sound like high-brow to most companies, actually it is already present in our daily lives and both big and small companies can leverage existing AI solutions to leverage their business offerings.
AI Business Partnership Programme is among the initiatives to accommodate local companies adopt AI. Under this programme, local firms with potential problem statements will be matched with AI solution providers. Through such partnerships, it is expected that proofs-of-concept can be developed and the AI solutions eventually integrated into the company. Meanwhile, IMDA will consider covering adoption risks by co-funding up to 50 percent of supported qualifying costs for suitable projects, up to a maximum of S$100,000 for each project.
Singapore Government will also develop TechSkills Accelerator initiative to cultivate AI talent. It will collaborate with AI Singapore to launch an inaugural AI apprenticeship programme. Under the scheme, apprentices will go through a combination of in-depth AI training courses and on-the-job training on industry projects. For the beginning, the government targets 200 apprentices to join over the next three years where they can learn AI skills, such as in machine and deep learning, and in deploying AI, said Dr Yaacob.
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