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Industry Collaboration to Grow Singapore’s Digital Economy

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In his recent address at the MoU Signing ceremony between NCS and ITE, Senior Minister of State Tan Kiat How highlighted Singapore’s digital economy’s exponential growth, transforming the nation into a global tech talent hub. He stressed the significance of industry collaborations in providing developmental pathways for ITE and Polytechnic graduates, noting the sector’s increasing contribution to the nation’s GDP.

The event marked a significant milestone in Singapore’s efforts to bridge the gap between academic qualifications and industry demands, particularly in the rapidly evolving field of technology.

According to IMDA’s Singapore Digital Economy Report, the digital economy accounted for S$106 billion in 2022, reflecting a substantial rise from 13% in 2017 to 17.3% of Singapore’s GDP. This growth trajectory underscores the sector’s indispensability as a key driver of economic progress and innovation.

Consequently, the demand for tech professionals has surged, with the number of tech professionals in Singapore increasing from approximately 155,500 in 2017 to 201,100 in 2022. This surge in demand has translated into better job prospects and higher salaries for tech professionals, offering promising career opportunities for local graduates seeking to enter the tech industry.

However, despite the burgeoning demand for tech talent, ITE and Polytechnic graduates face challenges in securing employment within the tech sector. Employers often prioritise academic qualifications over skills and practical experience, leading to a mismatch between job requirements and graduate competencies.

To address these challenges, the Singapore government launched the Tech Skills Accelerator (TESA) for ITE and Polytechnics Alliance (TIP Alliance) in 2022. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between industry demands and graduate capabilities by promoting skills-based hiring and providing internship opportunities for students.

As part of the TIP Alliance efforts, NCS has pledged to offer more tech internship and industry attachment opportunities to ITE students over the next three years. This partnership will enable ITE students to gain practical industry experience while studying, thereby enhancing their employability upon graduation.

Furthermore, NCS will provide capability development opportunities for ITE staff and collaborate with ITEs on knowledge sharing and curriculum development. These initiatives underscore NCS’s commitment to supporting ITE students in their education and careers, ensuring they are equipped with the necessary skills to thrive in the digital economy.

Minister How underscored the importance of continuous learning and skills development in seizing opportunities in the digital economy. He encouraged ITE students to embrace challenges and invest in their personal growth, highlighting Singapore’s unique value proposition and promising career prospects in the tech industry.

Singapore is dedicated to enabling its citizens to engage in digital transformation and seize opportunities in the digital economy through robust upskilling and reskilling efforts. By focusing on continuous learning and skill development, Singapore aims to equip its workforce with essential competencies for success in a tech-centric landscape.

OpenGov Asia reported that IMDA is intensifying efforts to boost the nation’s tech talent pool and drive AI adoption across industries. By investing SG$20 million in AI-related scholarships and internships, along with expanding training programs like TeSA, IMDA aims to equip students and professionals with the skills needed for AI innovation.

Through collaborations with industry partners and initiatives like the TIP Alliance, IMDA is creating job opportunities and promoting skills-based hiring, while extended internships for ITE and Polytechnic students enhance industry readiness. These efforts underscore Singapore’s commitment to tech innovation and competitiveness on the global stage.

The NCS-ITE partnership empowers ITE students with industry-relevant skills, paving the way for success in the digital economy. In Singapore’s quest to become a global tech hub, such collaborations between industry and academia are vital for fostering innovation and nurturing the next generation of tech talent.


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