Speech by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education, at the SCS Gala Dinner and IT Leader Awards 2013

22 February 2013 - Speech by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education, at the SCS Gala Dinner & IT Leader Awards 2013, 22 February 2013, 8.05 pm, Shangri-La Hotel

Speech by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education, at the SCS Gala Dinner & IT Leader Awards 2013, 22 February 2013, 8.05 pm, Shangri-La Hotel

Mr Chak Koon Soon, President, Singapore Computer Society

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good evening

I am delighted to join you here this evening. I would first like to extend my heartiest congratulations to this year's Award winners. Each one of you has made significant contributions to the ICT industry and your achievements will inspire younger infocomm talent to pursue the many opportunities available in the industry. 

Growth of infocomm industry

2. Globally, the infocomm industry is growing, with new technologies as major growth drivers. According to information technology research and advisory company Gartner, worldwide IT spending this year is expected to surpass US$3.7 trillion, a 4.2% increase from last year1. Out of which, big data will account for US$34 billion of the IT spending2, while enterprise spending on public cloud services is estimated to reach US$207 billion by 2016, up from US$109 billion in 20123. Gartner has also predicted that consumer spending on mobile apps stores and content will rise to US$61 billion this year, a three-fold increase from US$18 billion in 20124.

3. As ICT grows in global importance, so does its relevance to our youth and jobseekers. In Singapore, students trained in ICT are seeing more opportunities for rewarding careers in this industry, and we will work towards expanding more of such opportunities.

4. Singapore’s efforts in promoting ICT have been well noted by industry observers. Since 2009, Singapore has been consistently ranked first in the Waseda University World e-Government Ranking5. We were ranked second in the last three years by the World Economic Forum’s Global IT Report for driving IT growth6. The Government will continue to invest in our infocomm industry and leverage on infocomm to bring about improvements in lifestyle and convenience, and fulfilling careers for our people.

Development of infocomm professionals 

5. To stay ahead, the Government will also continue to drive manpower development efforts in partnership with the industry and academia, through IDA’s Infocomm Manpower Development Roadmap 2.0 or MDEV 2.0. This roadmap, launched in April 2011, aims to enhance the capability of the infocomm industry.  To date, the MDEV 2.0 and its programmes have benefited close to 12,000 fresh infocomm graduates and professionals. 

6. An example of MDEV 2.0 programme is the Infocomm Leadership and Development Programme (iLEAD) which aims to nurture the next generation of infocomm experts. Last year, under this programme, IDA launched Centres of Attachment (COAs) with leading technology providers - EMC and Microsoft – to equip IT professionals with in-depth skills in emerging areas through industry projects and industry attachments. This year, I am pleased to announce that three organisations - Revolution Analytics, Temasek Polytechnic and the National Healthcare Group - have also committed to establish more of such Centres of Attachment.  In total, Singapore will have five such centres to collectively create more than 100 learning opportunities in areas such as Business Analytics, Cloud Architecture and Healthcare Informatics.

7. MDEV2.0 initiatives also equip fresh graduates with industry-ready skills. Through the Company-Led Training Programme for Fresh Professionals (CLT), fresh graduates enrolled in the programme are offered structured coursework, on-job rotations and mentorship by senior specialists to gain varied working experiences and exposure. Industry players such as Dimension Data and iHIS have come on board as new partners in this initiative, and IDA plans to rev up skills training in Business Analytics, Mobile App Development, as well as Cloud and Network Infrastructure.

8. IDA and its partners are also playing an active role to attract and develop bright young infocomm talent. For example, the Enhanced Learning in Information Technology Programme (ELITe) provides opportunities for infocomm undergraduates to gain industry exposure and develop tighter industry links through attachments, mentorships, special projects and certifications. To date, 67 organisations have collectively enriched the development of more than 300 students from NUS, NTU, SMU and SUTD. 

9. As we continue to drive manpower training efforts, it is also prudent to devote resources to help employers manage infocomm talent effectively. Tonight, I am happy to launch the new National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF) Readiness Kit – jointly developed by IDA and WDA, which supports organisations in improving recruitment, performance management and professional development practices. In light of the tighter labour situation and the intensified demand for well-skilled infocomm professionals, I strongly urge all companies to take full advantage of this Readiness Kit which is available on the NICF Portal. 

10. Infocomm professionals also have a one-stop portal, the InfoPier.sg, to turn to.  The portal, driven by SCS with support from IDA, was launched in late 2011 to build an online community for IT professionals, enabling the community to plug in to ICT news, network with industry peers and seed collaboration and thought leadership. I understand that the portal has attracted more than 3,500 IT professionals and facilitated the formation of at least seven special interest groups such as Open Source Software for Innovation and Collaboration (OSSIC) and Interactive Digital Media.  Recently, a new skills-profiling feature was introduced - where after finding out about the competencies required for various jobs, the user can customise information such as training areas required for your next career leap, as well as retrieve information on available employment opportunities based on your listed profile and current competency level.  

11. For infocomm professionals who are interesting in nurturing the young, I encourage you to visit IDA’s Infocomm Talent Portal.  With a visitorship of more than 190,000 since April 2011, this one-stop resource centre enables students, teachers and parents to stay updated about the infocomm industry, education and career. I understand that students and mentors have been sharing their infocomm experiences and ideas on the portal, which is complemented by its own Infocomm Talent Facebook page with 13,000 young fans!

Conclusion

12. In conclusion, the infocomm industry presents many opportunities for growth and talent development. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Singapore Computer Society and our industry partners for their unwavering support and commitment to the development of the next generation of infocomm professionals in Singapore. IDA will continue to work closely with you to uphold the high standard of infocomm professionals.

13. Once again, congratulations to all our award winners, and I wish you a pleasant evening. 

14. Thank you.

Notes to Editor

1Gartner worldwide IT Spending Forecast
http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/it-spending-forecast/

IDC Releases First Worldwide Big Data Technology and Services Market Forecast, Shows Big Data as the Next Essential Capability and a Foundation for the Intelligent Economy
http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23355112

Gartner expects enterprise spending on public cloud services to grow from $91 billion worldwide in 2011 to $109 billion in 2012. By 2016, enterprise public cloud services spending will reach $207 billion.
http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=2074815

Gartner Says Consumers Will Spend $2.1 Trillion on Technology Products and Services Worldwide in 2012 http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=2094015

5World e-Government Ranking 
http://www.waseda.jp/eng/news11/120224_egov.html 
 
6Global Information Technology Report
http://www.weforum.org/

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023