IE Singapore Unveils Initiatives to Build Larger Talent Pool of Singaporeans Able to Work in India and Southeast Asia

April 25, 20178:22 am548 views

Last week, Friday April 21, IE Singapore (International Enterprise Singapore) unveiled new initiatives aimed at building talent pool of Singaporeans able to tap onto opportunities in growing markets of India and Southeast Asia.

In line with the government’s agenda to build a future-ready Singapore, IE announced initiatives at the ASEAN-India Business Forum (AIBF), which saw attendance from business leaders, industry experts and policy makers gathered to discuss opportunities in the manufacturing and consumer sectors.

Delivering the opening address, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) Mr S Iswaran said, “Recognising that Singapore companies are actively looking beyond shores to grow their business, IE Singapore is working closely with Institutes of Higher learning, regional business chambers and corporate partners to formulate initiatives aimed at building an international talent pool.”

The objective of this initiative is to nurture a pool of Singaporeans familiar with the business practices and operating conditions of key markets in Southeast Asia and India, as well as foster a network of young talents keen and able to work abroad. The initiatives are:

For Southeast Asia: The IE Singapore Go SEA Award, a recruitment platform for undergraduates will help bridge the need of Singapore companies to recruit regional talent with career aspirations of young Singaporean undergraduates. Targeting students in their final year, this initiative matches high-potential candidates to Singapore companies for internships spanning at least 12 weeks in their Southeast Asian offices.

IE Singapore targets to offer 30 awards in the pilot year valued at S$12,000 each to successfully matched students. This will cover their living and travel expenses as well as company stipend. Those who excel could receive job offers from the companies. Companies who are already on-board include OCBC Limited, Pico Art International and Stamford Tyres Corporation. More details on the initiatives will be released in the second-half of 2017.

In India: IE Singapore plans to bring in new partners for its existing Young Talent Programme (YTP) to grow its networks in India. At AIBF, IE Singapore signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and three local universities (Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University) to collaborate in creating an India Ready talent network.

The MOUs will allow the universities and IE Singapore to tap into CII’s network of over 8,000 members, to create overseas attachment opportunities for enrolled students. IE Singapore will be supporting these attachments under the existing YTP co-funding schemes.

See: MPs Suggest Slew of Measures for Singaporeans to Cope with the Digital Transition and Find Jobs

These initiatives will build upon the agency’s existing initiatives to prepare Singaporeans for internationalization via programmes such as the YTP for students and SkillsFuture Study Award for International Business for PMETs.

Key findings from IE Singapore’s Internationalisation Survey showed that, one of the key challenges for companies was lack of talent with the global experience and specific skill sets, as well as lack of talent willing to go overseas.

Mr Lee Ark Boon, Chief Executive Officer, IE Singapore, said, “The overseas expansion of Singapore companies is vital to create quality future jobs for Singaporeans. To grow their footprint abroad, companies need to acquire suitable talents able to thrive in foreign environments. These new talent initiatives, focused on the key growth regions of Southeast Asia and India, will drive the growth of domestic firms and create quality jobs for a new global breed of Singaporeans.”

With a combined population of 1.9 billion and nominal GDP of US$4.5 trillion, Southeast Asia and India are key markets for Singapore companies looking to internationalise. In IE Singapore’s Internationalisation Survey, Southeast Asia emerged as the top region of interest, with Vietnam and Myanmar taking the lead. More Singapore companies are also looking towards India for opportunities to grow their businesses.

Growth in these two regions is led by strong economic fundamentals, ample natural and human resources, as well as regional trends, rising foreign direct investment, urbanisation and increasingly affluent middle-class consumers. IE Singapore’s AIBF focused on opportunities created by these trends with plenary discussions on shifts in the manufacturing and consumer landscapes of Southeast Asia and India.

Manufacturing will continue to drive economic growth in Southeast Asia and India, creating jobs for the young, growing populations in these regions. Increased productivity in manufacturing will create more products and services to meet the needs of a rising pool of middle-class consumers.

In India, consumption is projected to grow fourfold by 2025, to reach US$1.06 trillion in value. This will propel India’s consumer market to become the fifth largest in the world by 2025. The number of middle class consumers living in Southeast Asia is forecasted to more than double to 400 million by 2020.

Also read: SkillsFuture Plans to Reach Out to More Singaporeans This Year

Feature image credit: futurereadysingapore.com

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