13 October 2016 - Speech by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, at the MCI Awards Ceremony 2016 on 13 October 2016, 3.10pm, at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Ladies and gentlemen
I am delighted to join you this afternoon for the Ministry of Communications and Information Awards Ceremony. Let me begin by congratulating all our award and scholarship recipients! You have all worked hard and made significant contributions in your respective areas, and you and your families must feel very proud.
Opportunities in the Infocomm Media sector
2. Indeed it is an exciting time for the infocomm media and design sectors. Rapid changes in technology are disrupting how businesses work and how we live our lives.
3. These same technologies are also bringing about new opportunities – new jobs have been created, and there is great demand for new skills. In the next five years, we are expecting to create and fill 30,000 jobs in the infocomm sector alone. This represents a growth of almost 20%, compared to the number of people in the sector today. Jobs in the media and design sectors have also been growing steadily. But numbers alone do not tell the whole story – there are skills and competencies in demand today that we will need to prepare our students, graduates and workforce for.
4. Two weeks ago, I launched the Info-Communications Media Development Authority or IMDA for short. IMDA will empower possibilities by developing a strong ICM sector that will power our economy. To do this, it will focus attention on building up strong infocomm media talents. Through the scholarships that we are giving out today to our polytechnic and A Level graduates, we hope to identify young talents and to give them the opportunity to maximise their potential to the fullest.
5. Darren Chua is one of the recipients of the Infocomm Polytechnic (iPoly) Scholarship today. Darren developed a strong interest in technology in secondary school, where he was a member of the school’s Robotics Club. He plans to study Infocomm Security Management at Singapore Polytechnic to pursue his dream to be a Cyber Forensics Professional. This is an area that is in hot demand by many organisations today, as businesses realise the importance of cyber security and the need to respond quickly to cyber attacks.
6. We are also giving out the Media Education Scholarship, the National Infocomm Scholarship and National Cybersecurity Postgraduate for those looking to pursue their studies in local and overseas universities. Benjamin Low will be the first Media Education Scholarship Award recipient attending the La Salle College of the Arts, where he is studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Film. Benjamin has already won several awards for his work, including the Crowbar Gold and Silver Awards for Cinematography and Directing respectively for his short film in 2013. He hopes to inspire others to tell their stories through film and aspires to bring Singapore cinema to the world stage through his works. So I wish both Darren and Benjamin, and the rest of our award recipients the very best for their studies!
7. Earlier this year we launched the Industry Preparation for Pre-graduates (iPREP) programme that allows pre-graduates to gain work experience through industry internships. Close to 800 students have confirmed participation in this inaugural iPREP and I would like to extend my congratulations to all the successful iPREP recipients. My wish is for you make the best use of your time with the internships and gain valuable insights from your mentors, which in turn will better prepare you for your careers ahead.
Focus on Professional Skills Development
8. Besides awarding scholarships to those pursuing their studies, we are also paying great attention to professional skills development for those already in the workforce. In this age of rapid technology change, the need for all of us to learn and develop new skills throughout our lives cannot be emphasised enough.
9. In line with this, we are giving out the SkillsFuture Study Awards to 140 recipients from the Infocomm Media and Design sectors today. Let me mention two of the award recipients. First, Mr Sanjay Devaraja will be pursuing a Masters in Communication at the Nanyang Technological University. Sanjay was a television news presenter and producer of Tamil current affairs programmes for the past 4½ years. Through picking up new skills from his studies, Sanjay hopes to produce his own talk shows one day on current affairs, and bring about a change in the way people think about social issues that affect them.
10. From the design sector, we have Ms Aziemah Bte Abdul Hamid who will be taking up a Specialist Diploma in Interior and Landscape Design. Ms Aziemah started off as a drafter and is now a designer who provides computer-aided drafting and design support in her mechanical and engineering projects. She aspires to be an interior designer in the future.
11. Congratulations to all our SkillsFuture Study Award recipients and I wish them all their best as they take their next step towards fulfilling their aspirations.
12. Singapore needs strong and dedicated talents to grow and prosper, I hope all our scholarship and award recipients will continue to dream big and work hard. I believe we can work together to secure a bright and vibrant future in the days ahead. My congratulations again to all award recipients and I wish you and your families all the best in your future endeavours.
13. Thank you.
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