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Government encourages Singaporeans to leverage technology to emerge stronger from the effects of COVID-19

An event, Smart Nation & U 2021, which is into its second edition, was launched today by Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat at the Smart Nation CityScape in URA’s Singapore City Gallery.

Themed “Reclaiming our Lives with Tech”, will consist of a series of panel discussions, roadshows and free online courses to support Singaporeans as they leverage technology to emerge stronger from the effects of COVID-19.

Smart Nation & U 2021 is jointly organised by the Smart Nation & Digital Government Office (SNDGO) and National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), and will take place over a two week period from 11 to 26 March 2021. It seeks to highlight opportunities for workers and businesses to upskill and transform digitally in order to ride the digital wave, to create a more vibrant economy, as well as create better jobs and better lives for Singaporeans.

Smart Nation & U 2021 consists of three components:

  • Let’s Talk (11-12 March): A series of panel discussions bringing together government leaders, industry honchos, labour movement leaders and community leaders to discuss how digital technologies have, and will, continue to empower Singapore to emerge stronger from the challenges of COVID-19. Speakers include Mr Ng Chee Meng, Secretary-General, NTUC; Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information & Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations; and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative & Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  • Let’s Go (11-14 March): A tech-focused jobs and skills fair for the public to learn about exciting career and upskilling opportunities, and a chance to speak with career and skills advisors from NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and SkillsFuture Singapore. There is also an exhibition featuring tech showcases, where the public can learn about technological innovations that came to the fore in our fight against COVID-19. The Let’s Go event will take place concurrently at five locations islandwide (Downtown East, Jurong Point, NEX, Suntec City and Toa Payoh HDB Hub). e2i, with support from tripartite partners, will also be organising the Smart Nation & U: Virtual Career Fair from 13 to 27 March for the public to explore job opportunities empowered by tech in the post COVID economy across various sectors.
  • Let’s Learn (15-26 March): To encourage Singaporeans to upskill in the area of tech, NTUC Learning Hub (NTUCLHUB) will be offering 23 free webinars. The online lessons will be held over two weeks, and include courses on live streaming, robotic process automation, data analytics, artificial intelligence and more. Over 40 subsidised courses delivered by NTUC LHUB are also available during the same period for those who wish to sign up for more in-depth tech learning. NTUC LHUB is the official Continuing Education & Training Provider powering
    Let’s Learn.

Upgrading Tech Skills as COVID-19 continues to accelerate digitalisation

Smart Nation & U 2021 was conceptualised following SNDGO’s Emerging Stronger Conversations – held from September to October last year, as part of the Singapore Together movement. More than 400 Smart Nation Ambassadors took part in the engagement sessions to identify key areas where technology could play a greater role to support Singapore’s recovery from COVID-19.

Participants had called for more digital learning opportunities for the community, greater support for workers and businesses in their digitalisation efforts, and more coordinated efforts to build an inclusive Smart Nation. Smart Nation & U 2021 is the result of these engagements and seeks to encourage digital inclusion and tech skills upgrading as COVID-19 continues to accelerate digitalisation.

Smart Nation & U is also part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between SNDGO and NTUC in 2019 to engage and educate workers, their families and the wider community on the benefits of incorporating technology into their daily lives.

The inaugural Smart Nation & U in 2019 included tech showcases, talks and workshops to engage the public to learn about the innovative ways in which technology can improve how we live, work and play.

Building on the previous edition of Smart Nation & U, this year’s event has been significantly scaled up, to focus on providing businesses and workers with opportunities and skillsets to pivot in the midst of accelerated digitalisation.

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