The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has set aside $2 million to train 1,000 infocomm manpower in critical skill areas through a co-funding programme with employers. This falls under a new phase of the existing "Critical IT Resource Programme", which has since been renamed the...Singapore, 6 July 2000 | For Immediate Release
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has set aside $2 million to train 1,000 infocomm manpower in critical skill areas through a co-funding programme with employers. This falls under a new phase of the existing "Critical IT Resource Programme", which has since been renamed the Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme (CITREP), to reflect the trend of convergence between IT and telecommunications. Established in 1989, CITREP was aimed at accelerating the development of emerging, critical and specialised infocomm skills in high demand by both the industry (see "Notes to Editor" for background).
The IDA, through its 1999 Infocomm Manpower and Skills Survey, has identified the five most essential skills relevant to the core business of organisations. These include: Internet Development, E-Commerce Development, Networking, Mobile/Wireless Communications and Multimedia Development. In order to acquire these skills, most organisations have indicated strong intent to upgrade their existing infocomm workers through training.
Today, several high growth sectors, including the infocomm industry, face significant shortages in infocomm manpower. The rapid transformation of the traditional sectors has also led to a surge in the demand for skilled infocomm manpower as they begin to exploit technology for competitive advantage. The growth in infocomm manpower in Singapore averages 10% over the next two years and this translates to a need for 10,000 infocomm manpower every year. By the year 2010, some 250,000 infocomm manpower will be needed. This is more than two-and-a-half times the current manpower of 93,000 being employed across all industries.
Beyond numbers, the current pool of infocomm manpower needs to continuously upgrade to ensure relevance of their skills. One big challenge in this industry is the rate of knowledge obsolescence with an estimated half-life of just 18 months or less.
To meet the infocomm manpower needs of Singapore, there is a need to develop our current manpower pool by upgrading the skills of existing workers and preparing students for employment. Said Dr Kaizad Heerjee, Assistant Chief Executive (Online Development), IDA, "This programme brings to reality yet another initiative under the Infocomm 21 Manpower Development initiative to develop a sufficient pool of high-calibre infocomm manpower and an infocomm-savvy workforce to sustain the growth of the Singapore economy. The aim of CITREP is to help organisations defray some of their manpower training costs and more importantly, to accelerate the development of emerging, critical and specialised infocomm skills to support future growth."
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Notes to Editor:
Background on the Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme
Taking into account the needs of the industry, the IDA put aside funding to accelerate the development of these skills through CITREP, an employer-based programme. Under the programme, the IDA will support 50% or $2,000 of the course fee for each company-sponsored trainee, whichever is lower. The trainee should be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident. Funding will only be reimbursed if the trainees attend at least 75% of the training and pass the examinations (if any).
This programme will co-fund training in the following 4 skill areas: E-Commerce, Infocomm Convergence, Project Management and Business Management (Infocomm), as well as other new skills required by the industry. Training providers who are interested in offering their courses under the programme and skill areas should submit their proposed course curriculum to IDA for evaluation to be eligible for the CITREP funding.
Interested parties can submit their course applications via the IDA website. Upon completion of the course and the approval of the funding claims, the funding reimbursements will be credited directly to the organisation's bank account, making the entire process cashless. This is part of the government's ongoing effort to enable e-payment in all government organisations.
Interested employers, individuals and training providers can obtain more details on the CITREP from the "Manpower Development" section of www.imda.gov.sg.
The CITREP is part of the Infocomm 21 Manpower Development initiative announced in March 2000, to develop a sufficient pool of high-calibre infocomm manpower and infocomm-savvy workforce to sustain the growth of the Singapore economy.
In addition, the IDA has put together a number of programmes to meet the needs of the industry. In May 2000, the IDA, together with the Nanyang Technological University and Cisco, announced the formation of a regional CISCO Authorised Training Centre. As part of the industry-academia partnership programme, this is a major education initiative to train students in competence in networking skills.
To further augment the current pool of manpower, the IDA and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) launched the Strategic Manpower Conversion Programme this April to re-train professionals from other disciplines to fill vacancies in the fast-growing infocomm sector. To date, the IDA has received more than 750 calls and 500 emails from the public to indicate their interest. Currently, the IDA has endorsed 13 courses under this conversion programme. Also, since the beginning of this year, a separate queue, managed by the IDA and the MOM, has been established at the Employment Pass Department to give special attention to the Employment Pass application process for infocomm international talents.
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is a dynamic organisation with an integrated perspective to developing, promoting and regulating info-communications in Singapore. In the fast-changing and converging spheres of telecommunications, information and media technologies, IDA will be the catalyst for change and growth in Singapore's evolution into a vibrant global info-communications technology centre. For more information, visit www.imda.gov.sg.
For media clarifications, please contact:
Ms CHIA Sher Ling
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore