ICT is the next best thing to do…

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No guys, ICT here doesn’t mean your In-Camp Training.

It refers to Infocommunications and Technology which according to the government is the next up and coming market to work in.

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Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said that despite an increase in the number of jobs available, there is a “talent gap”, where many Singaporeans are not willing to join the industry.

“We’re going to talk a lot more about ICT manpower and I hope young Singaporeans will consider this as a career of their choice because the opportunities are certainly abundant.”
– Minister Yaacob Ibrahim

A few days ago, Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat in his Budget 2016 speech, announced a new programme known as the TechSkills Accelerator to enable Singaporeans to acquire the right skills and know-how to dive into this new sector.

So why is this going to be an exciting, new sunrise sector?

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If you recall, some time back, the government announced a Smart Nation Initiative. This whole-of-nation programme will harness ICT to “support better living, create more opportunities, and support stronger communities”.

To support the Smart Nation Initiative, TechSkills Accelerator will:

  1. Identify potential skills in demand and work with specialised training providers to meet them, in particular demands in start-ups, finance and healthcare sectors.
  2. Develop industry-recognised skills standards and certification to guide ICT professionals acquire industry-relevant skills and assist employers assess skills proficiency of their employees.
  3. Work with anchor employers to commit to hiring and paying based on certified skills proficiency rather than academic qualifications alone.

Two opportunities were highlighted by Minister Yaacob in an interview with the media on the ICT manpower issues: Data Analytics and Cyber-Security.

Apparently, IDA had troubke trying to fill 15,000 job vacancies in 2014, and by next year, another 15,000 specialists are needed.

So it’s really an up-and-coming sector.

Some time back the Ministry of Manpower reported that the employment growth of Singaporeans was at its slowest in 12-years.

Hence, this call for more Singaporeans to jump on the ICT-bandwagon should be welcome news for Singaporeans.

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The Labour Movement has been calling for a stronger Singaporean Core. In February 2016, NTUC had asked the government to do more to support younger workers and in particular the PMEs and those in schools.

Plans for the up-and-coming sector will be released in the Committee of Supply Debate which starts next week.

So, if you are young and on the look out for jobs, you might want to consider the ICT sector and the plans that will be rolled-out in the next 2 weeks when the ministries involved announce their plans for it.

 

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Arthur Lee

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