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Elevating Singapore’s Tech Talent: IMDA’s AI Education Initiative

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In a world increasingly shaped by technology, Singapore is taking proactive steps to ensure its workforce remains at the forefront of innovation. At the heart of this endeavour lies the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), which has embarked on a comprehensive initiative to expand and elevate the nation’s pool of tech talent, with a particular emphasis on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Recognising AI as a cornerstone of future economic growth and societal advancement, IMDA has intensified its efforts in pre-employment training and mid-career upskilling programmes. These initiatives are designed not only to meet the burgeoning demand for AI expertise but also to empower individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a digital-first world.

Video credits: IMDA Singapore website

Central to IMDA’s strategy is a substantial investment of $GD 20 million over three years to enhance AI-related SG Digital Scholarships and overseas internships. These scholarships offer students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the industry post-graduation, while overseas internships provide invaluable exposure to real-world AI applications. By fostering such experiences, IMDA aims to cultivate a new generation of AI talent equipped to tackle complex challenges and drive innovation.

Furthermore, IMDA is scaling up its TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) programme, a cornerstone of Singapore’s digital upskilling efforts. Since its inception in 2016, TeSA has played a pivotal role in training over 17,000 locals in high-demand tech areas, including AI and Analytics, Software & Applications, 5G, Cloud, and Cybersecurity. By expanding TeSA and collaborating with industry partners, IMDA seeks to equip individuals with the skills necessary to excel in the digital economy.

Under the Information and Communications (I&C) Jobs Transformation Map (JTM), IMDA is also offering over 180 AI-related courses to reskill about 18,000 talent in tech roles over the next three years. These courses, focusing on areas such as Generative AI (GenAI), Software Engineering, Cloud, and Mobility, are designed to address the evolving needs of the tech workforce and ensure Singapore remains competitive on the global stage.

In addition to investing in education and upskilling, IMDA is committed to strengthening industry partnerships and creating job opportunities for graduates. Through the TeSA for ITE and Polytechnics Alliance (TIP Alliance), IMDA has secured 800 job opportunities for ITE and Polytechnic graduates in leading tech companies. This initiative not only enhances employment outcomes but also fosters collaboration between academia and industry, ensuring that educational programmes remain relevant and aligned with industry needs.

Moreover, IMDA has spearheaded the skills-based hiring movement, which has garnered support from over 200 companies since its launch in November 2023. By focusing on competencies rather than qualifications, this movement aims to attract, assess, and develop tech talent based on their skills and capabilities. Such initiatives not only bridge the gap between education and employment but also foster a culture of lifelong learning and skills mastery.

On the supply side, IMDA has extended internship durations for Information and Digital Technology (IDT) students in ITE and Polytechnics from 6 to 12 months. This extended internship period allows students to gain deeper insights into industry practices and develop critical skills required for the workforce. More than 400 IDT students have benefited from these enhanced year-long internships, paving the way for future career success.

IMDA’s commitment to AI education and upskilling extends beyond individual initiatives; it represents a broader vision for Singapore’s digital transformation. By empowering individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to harness the power of AI, IMDA aims to position Singapore as a global leader in technology innovation and talent development.

IMDA’s initiatives in AI education and upskilling underscore Singapore’s unwavering commitment to building a future-ready workforce capable of driving innovation and sustaining economic growth in the digital age. Through strategic investments, industry partnerships, and a steadfast focus on skills development, Singapore is laying the foundation for a prosperous and inclusive digital future.


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