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Singapore Government responds to rising demand for ICT professionals

Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Minister of State, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Manpower spoke last night (April 30) of the demand for ICT professionals and how the government is preparing the workforce for future opportunities.

Demand for ICT professionals on the rise in Singapore

He spoke of the many opportunities available across all industries. He stated that the demand for ICT professionals has been rising steadily (based on IMDA’s Annual Survey on Infocomm Media Manpower for 2018) with total demand for ICT professionals growing by 2.2% from 2016 to 2017, to reach 202,600 in 2017.

The Minister said that enterprises have projected the demand for ICT professionals to grow by another 28,500 in the next three years (2018-2020).

He urged  businesses have to respond nimbly to seize new opportunities and stay ahead of the curve and said that jobs will be transformed or created and these jobs will require new or deeper skills and knowledge, in areas such as user experience design and data analytics.

He added that “there is a shortage of some of these skills in Singapore, and the gap is expected  to widen. This means that businesses who only depend on hiring ready talent will find themselves facing a very tight labour market.”

To stay competitive and leapfrog competitors through business transformation, businesses will need to become more sophisticated at developing talent. The Minister also said that businesses need to be  better at upskilling their workers so as to preserve their company culture and industry knowledge, and identifying new hires who may not have the complete skillset required, but can be trained to do the job.

Government Initiatives to skill workers from non-ICT backgrounds

The Minister was speaking at an office opening of General Assembly, and he said that he was happy to note that General Assembly has been collaborating with the government and has played an active role in ensuring the success of IMDA’s Tech Immersion and Placement Programme (TIPP).

This is a programme that converts individuals from non-ICT background into tech professionals through immersive tech training, and subsequently placing them into relevant tech roles. The TIPP helps Singaporeans to adapt and seize new career opportunities in tech, and at the same time helps companies to fill these critical jobs in a tight market.

Since 2016, over 600 locals have completed training under TIPP and the majority have found jobs in roles such as data science, data analytics, user experience design and software development.

Through the TechSkills Accelerator (or TeSA in short), 61,000 training places have been taken up or committed since April 2016.

Employment support is also available under the Adapt and Grow initiative to facilitate the career mobility of our workers. Through this initiative, we have placed more than 1,900 locals into new jobs in the ICT and media sector in 2018.

He concluded that with the support of Government and employers who are willing to invest in training to upskill workers and new hires, the government can give everyone the opportunity to move into better jobs and careers as our economy continues to transform.

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