Dr Kaizad Heerjee, Assistant Chief Executive, Online Development Group Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore Speech - Launch of CATC, IDA Auditorium

Dr Kaizad Heerjee, Assistant Chief Executive, Online Development Group
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Speech - Launch of CATC, IDA Auditorium
Singapore, 9 May 2000


I am delighted to welcome all of you this morning to the MOU signing for Cisco, NTU and IDA to set up the Cisco Academy Training Center (CATC).

Infocomm Manpower Demand

1. Globally, there is a growing trend towards the 'Age of Disloyalty' in the New Economy. Skilled people, especially those with creative talent and ideas, are now in greater demand, and thus more mobile. Employees used to move from job to job on average about 6-8 times in their lifetime. However, the average IT worker in the US now stays on each job for only 13 months. This works out to be about 30 times in his or her lifetime! Reports of manpower shortages are commonplace. Britain has a need for 100,000 IT workers, Germany needs 75,000, India - 67,000, Korea - 8,000 and Malaysia - 15,000. Singapore, too, has a high need for Infocomm manpower. The growth in infocomm manpower here averages 10% over the next 2 years. This means that the industry needs about 10,000 infocomm manpower every year. The local institutes of higher learning currently supply about 5,000 infocomm graduates into the industry every year. As such, there is a high demand for infocomm manpower to come from our local pool as well as international talents.

2. Earlier this year, a separate queue, managed by the IDA and Ministry of Manpower, was set up at the Employment Pass Division to specially process work pass applications for infocomm international talents. To further augment the manpower pool, last month, IDA and MOM launched a scheme - the Strategic Manpower Conversion Programme, to re-train professionals from other disciplines to fill vacancies in the fast-growing infocomm sector. At the time of launch, 10 companies have committed 130 training places. Following the announcement, IDA received more than 500 calls and 200 emails from the public to indicate their interest!

Formation of CATC

3. Today, on behalf of IDA, I am pleased to support the formation of the first Cisco Academy Training Center (CATC) in ASEAN. Housed at NTU, the CATC will train our students and workforce in the critical networking skills.

4. The CATC will also adopt on-line training delivery method to supplement classroom training. This e-learning mode provides an effective platform for constant renewal of skills, and more importantly, makes it possible to tremendously extend the training beyond the Singapore's shoreline to address the manpower shortage issues faced by our regional countries. With an excellent interplay of high technology content and infrastructure, the CATC augurs well with our aim to establish Singapore as a regional e-learning hub.

5. As part of the CATC initiative, IDA, NTU and CISCO are offering 20 scholarships to attract students to study and work in Singapore. These are the top students in ASEAN who possess CISCO Certified Network Associate certification. The further education at CATC will equip them with greater depth and breadth of networking knowledge and skill, and allow them to graduate as CISCO Certified Network Professionals. These scholars will also be offered employment opportunities in Singapore.

6. IDA would be keen to work with other industry leaders to participate in more of such collaborations and capability development efforts. On this note, I would like to congratulate CISCO and NTU on this strategic collaboration and wish you every success.

7. Thank you.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023