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IMDA’s Company-Led Training programme fuels mid-career moves into the tech world
Gain tech skills with Company-Led Training

IMDA’s Company-Led Training programme fuels mid-career moves into the tech world

Making a mid-career switch is often daunting and can be challenging if you do not know where to begin. For Alfred Ang and Christopher Tan, it turned into a journey of growth and opportunity. Their debut into the tech world kickstarted with a single key decision – to enrol in IMDA’s TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) Company-Led Training (CLT) programme. TeSA is an initiative driven by IMDA in collaboration with the industry, SkillsFuture Singapore, Workforce Singapore and the National Trades Union Congress, to help forward-thinking professionals grow their digital capabilities and make a positive impact on the nation’s tech ecosystem.

Through the structured CLT programme, Alfred upskilled his coding and technical skills to take up a higher value tech role. From his previous job as a data coordinator, Alfred joined Visa as an Associate System Analyst. Christopher, who hails from a non-tech background, is currently an Associate Developer at Temus. For Christopher, IMDA’s CLT programme was not just a career switch but a gateway to merge his passion for tech with lifelong learning, while providing for his family. The CLT programme has helped individuals like Alfred and Christopher find their place in today’s digital economy.

Mapped against Singapore’s Skills Framework for ICT, the CLT programme focuses on developing tech skills, particularly in deep-tech areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, data analytics, and software and applications.

Portrait shots of Associate Research Engineer at Visa Alfred Ang (in black) and Associate Developer at Temus Christopher Tan.
Alfred (left) and Christopher (right) gained in-depth industry exposure by upskilling with CLT.

Shaping Singapore’s digital future

IMDA’s CLT programme accelerates the professional development of fresh and mid-career professionals, including mature Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians (PMETs). Through on-the-job training, CLT programme helps trainees sharpen their tech skills and gain in-depth industry exposure by working on projects under the guidance of experienced mentors. This not only enhances their employability but unlocks previously unattainable career pathways in the tech industry.

Businesses gain as well. By committing to place and train each trainee for up to 12 months, companies attract much-needed talent and foster a culture of continuous learning and growth within their organisations. Moreover, partnering companies have the flexibility to tailor the training programme to align with their specific needs and industry requirements. Having recognised its potential and advantages, trailblazing companies like Visa and Temus have come on board as CLT training partners.

The roadmap to a promising career in tech

Alfred’s journey into the Visa Technology Traineeship Programme (VTTP) – Visa’s CLT project began with a scroll through LinkedIn. What piqued his interest was the appealing structure of the programme, which combined on-the-job training with project exposure. To Alfred, this dynamic meant that the skills he would acquire during training were useful to excel in roles within the company. Additionally, he found the prospect of earning a professional diploma in software development from the National University of Singapore, Institute of Systems Science (NUS-ISS), upon successful completion of the programme, to be quite the perk.

Alfred working in an outdoor setting, seated against green bushes and plants while typing on a laptop.
Alfred deepened his technical knowledge through Visa’s 12-month Company-Led Training programme.

While Alfred had previously pursued roles that were code-adjacent, they required a very basic level of technical knowledge. Until he joined Visa, he had not had the opportunity to explore technical know-how to the scope and level of what he does today. In his role of linking systems to various subsystems within the vast Visa network through code, Alfred feels a deep sense of value. He elaborated, “The work that I’m doing at Visa is very impactful. Visa processes about 255 billion payment transactions on a yearly basis, which is, to me, an astounding number.”

Beyond the technical aspects, Alfred appreciated the balance of training, technical mentorship, and collaborative work. “The fact that we had on-the-job training, and I got to interact with experienced senior engineers and team members doing the job and learning directly from them, was definitely a huge part of what made it attractive. Everybody was always so friendly and helpful, and they provided a helping hand whenever we needed it,” he shared. Following the CLT programme, Alfred has progressed further in his tech career, now as an Associate Research Engineer.

The CLT programme gave me the confidence and the foundational skills I needed to become a part of this dynamic digital economy.

Alfred Ang

Associate Research Engineer, Visa
(formerly an Associate System Analyst during CLT)

For Christopher, the pandemic was what pushed him to switch from a 15-year long career as an optometrist to a tech professional. Having witnessed the resilience of tech-driven businesses during the pandemic, he decided to pivot towards tech. Based on his brother’s recommendation, Christopher signed up for Step IT Up programme – a Temus’ CLT project. Supported under IMDA’s CLT programme, Step IT Up offers individuals a chance to transition into tech roles without prior experience. "Step IT Up is special because they actually accept you based on your attitude and your aptitude – they give you a chance," said Christopher.

Christopher holding a white mug while speaking with a colleague in his office pantry.
Despite lacking a tech background, Christopher successfully switched career paths after upskilling.

To successfully navigate and thrive in such a dynamic ecosystem, Christopher is passionate about learning and constantly adapts to new projects and technologies till today. "A job in tech allows you to always learn since tech evolves constantly," said Christopher, who is pursuing an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Solutions Architect – Associate and Professional Scrum Master™ I certification.

Christopher’s commitment to self-improvement and team spirit have earned him a recent promotion and the respect of his skilled teammates. He had put his new-found knowledge to work on a capstone project using Google Maps and JavaScript API, implementing the fundamentals he was taught to create. With his freshly acquired skills, Christopher developed a navigation app that shows alternative travel routes with different modes of transport.

I felt like the CLT programme was my only ticket to enter the industry. It was challenging but transformative, and I learnt a lot about myself as well.

Christopher Tan

Associate Developer, Temus

Like Alfred, Christopher is grateful for the industry-relevant certification, job experience, and financial security that comes with the Temus’ Step IT Up programme. Along with technical training, the programme provides a financial foundation through a monthly salary during training, easing any uncertainties career-switchers might have when entering unchartered territory.

Unlocking potential in the digital age

Alfred and Christopher have benefitted tremendously from their transformative journeys into tech. Through the CLT programme, they now possess highly sought-after tech skills that have increased their employment prospects. If you would like to embark on your own transformation and explore a career in tech, find out how IMDA’s CLT programme can help you reach your potential as a next-generation ICT professional.

LAST UPDATED: 09 MAY 2024

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