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Close to 850 students awarded as part of programmes to develop industry-ready talent pipeline in Singapore for infocomm and media sector

Above photo: Dr. Janil Puthucheary interacting with recipients/ Credit: IMDA

On September 29, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, Dr. Janil Puthucheary presented close to 850 awards to tech and media students, as part of Singapore’s efforts to develop the next generation of infocomm media (ICM) leaders.

Inaugural showcase of student-led innovative solutions developed for industry

A group of student beneficiaries, aged between 17 to 22, from the Industry Preparation for Pre-Graduates (iPREP) programme, unveiled their projects at the inaugural exhibition showcase.

The iPREP programme aims to prepare and equip pre-graduates with relevant skillsets and work experience to ensure a pipeline of industry-ready graduates to meet industry manpower needs. From 2016, to date, about 1,600 students have been supported under the iPREP, included 800 students in 2017.

Pre-graduates on the programme receive opportunities to work on industry infocomm projects through local/ overseas internships. They also receive funding support for development of skillsets and technical competencies through attainment of industry certifications. To encourage experience and knowledge transfer, students will also be invited to interact with industry experts and attend infocomm seminars and events.

Participation in the iPREP Programme is by-nomination and invitation only. Only current ICT pre-graduates, nominated by their PSEIs (post-secondary education institutions), are invited to apply for the programme. They will receive invitations to networking sessions and events where they can showcase their completed projects.

At this inaugural showcase, students demonstrated skills in software development, data visualisation and Internet of Things which they used to develop innovative solutions to real-life business problems during their internships with companies. These projects were developed for larger organisations and start-ups, such as Autodesk Asia, Channel NewsAsia, Hook Coffee, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Jewel Paymentech and Urban Redevelopment Authority.

For example, Aide Iskandar Bin Abdul Rahim from Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) worked on a project to develop an application for the Microsoft Hololens for URA, which would allow users to view, navigate and interact with buildings in a 3D environment. Koh Chu Qian and Keefe Tan Zhi Yang from Singapore Management University (SMU) provided an intuitive processing dashboard for Hook Coffee’s daily packaging requirements, as well as modules for them to manage their customers, inventory and marketing campaigns. The students also combined useful, actionable analyses to improve their operations.

 “We live in exciting times where the world is a click away. There are immense opportunities for students who are considering a career in the Infocomm and Media (ICM) sector as Singapore gears up to be a thriving digital economy and a Smart Nation. Demand for ICM professionals is expected to increase by more than 40,000 over the next three years alone. Today, we are taking an important step to nurture the next generation of digital leaders and innovators.” said Mr. Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA.

Scholarships  

Close to 50 scholarships were given out to recipients who are embarking on Infocomm and Media studies ranging from domains including cyber security, informatics and IT, engineering in technology, data analytics, interactive and digital media, TV production, film, journalism and more. These award recipients will be nurtured by global corporations, local businesses and government agencies to be industry-ready.

The scholarships awarded include IMDA’s Infocomm Polytechnic Scholarship (9 in 2017), National Infocomm Scholarship (12 in 2017), National Cybersecurity Postgraduate Scholarship (NCPS; 31 awarded in 2017) and Media Education Scholarship (MES; 6 in 2017).

The bond-free Infocomm Polytechnic Scholarship aims to attract more ‘O’ level students to pursue an infocomm-related courses at the polytechnic level. MES, which is co-sponsored by IMDA and established media companies, targets outstanding local students and media practitioners who seek to establish a long-term career in the media industry, and who wish to pursue full-time media-related undergraduate or postgraduate programmes at reputable Singapore or international universities.

The National Infocomm Scholarship (NIS), launched in 2004, aims to develop infocomm leaders and ensure a future pipeline of talent for the infocomm industry. At the end of their studies, NIS scholars would go on to serve their bond with an industry organisation in an IT-related job role according to their aspirations and passion, as approved by IMDA.

NCPS is offered jointly by the National Research Foundation (NRF), Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) under the National Cybersecurity R&D Programme, to graduates and working professionals who are keen to contribute and commit to the protection of Singapore’s cyberspace. Successful scholarship applicants may pursue their Masters (either through coursework or research) locally and/or Doctoral degrees (PhD), locally or overseas.

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