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IDA Announces Infocomm Training Framework to Develop an Infocomm-savvy Society

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) today announced the Infocomm Training Framework which aims to identify infocomm training needs for different segments of the Singapore population...

Singapore, 12 June 2001 | For Immediate Release

Infocomm Literacy Survey findings provide important first step towards gauging training needs

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) today announced the Infocomm Training Framework which aims to identify infocomm training needs for different segments of the Singapore population.

The Infocomm Training Framework comprises five levels (L1 - L5) of infocomm training programmes to meet Singaporeans' specific needs in infocomm skills. From promoting an e-lifestyle to workforce training to capability development, the framework focuses on different levels of infocomm competency to enhance quality of life and to improve employability.

In conjunction, IDA also announced the results of one of the world's first ever studies on national infocomm literacy levels - the Infocomm Literacy Survey - which examines Singaporeans' usage of infocomm technologies and appliances, as compared to previous surveys which measure traditional parameters such as Internet and PC penetration rates.

For the purpose of this survey, infocomm literacy is defined as the adoption of infocomm applications and services; specifically, the ability to perform online transactions such as e-Learning; e-Transactions (for example, Internet shopping, Internet banking) and e-Entertainment (for example, downloading entertainment software) as part of an e-lifestyle.

The survey findings serve as a significant benchmark for IDA to drive Singapore forward in building an infocomm-savvy society where everyone can reap the benefits of an e-lifestyle. Having mapped out the population's infocomm literacy levels, IDA is able to better address the specific needs of each target group, so that relevant training opportunities can be created to improve infocomm competency.

Mr Lo Yoong Khong, Deputy Director, Manpower Development, IDA, said, "IDA's vision for Singapore is to create a digital future for the nation characterised by innovation, entrepreneurship and e-lifestyle. As one of the world's first studies on infocomm literacy level, this survey serves as a benchmark to help determine the readiness of Singapore as an emerging knowledge economy."

Mr Lo added, "It is therefore essential to equip the workforce with infocomm and e-business skills to enhance Singapore's competitiveness. It is also equally important to actively engage the masses to participate in lifelong learning through embracing infocomm technologies."

Key Findings

The Infocomm Literacy Survey revealed that the proportion of infocomm literate (47%) versus non-infocomm literate (53%) individuals are almost equally represented, with the majority of non-working population being non-infocomm literate. Among the working population, already more than half (55%) are infocomm literate. More significantly, 81% of students are at least infocomm literate, with 66% who are considered infocomm-savvy. These findings reaffirm that Singapore is moving in the right direction towards developing an infocomm-savvy society.

The results also indicate that education level, age, occupation, language and level of affluence are important factors which relate to infocomm literacy levels. For example, a 28-year-old working professional who is a university graduate would be more infocomm-savvy than a 50-year-old homemaker who has no formal education. (For more survey highlights, please refer to "Notes to Editor".)

Current Infocomm Skills Training Programmes

IDA has been working closely with the private sector, community groups and other government agencies to provide opportunities for infocomm skills training. Various initiatives and strategic partnerships are already in place to increase the infocomm literacy level of both the workers and the general public, including:

  • One Learning Place (OLP): offers basic internet training via the broadband network, as well as training in information literacy skills
  • Non-English infocomm training programmes: community organisations such as CDAC, MERCU Learning Point and SINDA, provide basic infocomm training in non-English medium/languages
  • Skills Redevelopment Programme (SRP): workers can attend such courses and be re-deployed as PC Technicians
  • Strategic Manpower Conversion Programme (SMCP): to convert non-infocomm professionals to become infocomm professionals
  • IT POWER: empowers the workforce with basic computer literacy skills
  • Critical IT Resource Programme (CITREP): accelerates the development of emerging, critical and specialised IT skills urgently required by the industry


Dr Kaizad Heerjee, Assistant Chief Executive, Online Development at IDA, said, "With an increasingly infocomm-centric society, it is important to engage every citizen, including those who are not part of the workforce, in embracing an e-lifestyle, that is, the 4Es: e-Learning, e-Communications, e-Transactions and e-Entertainment. An e-lifestyle will open up new possibilities to empower everyone and bridge lives."

Dr Heejee added, "The Infocomm Literacy Survey has given us good insight into the infocomm usage patterns of the population. We are pleased to see that 66% of the Singapore population are computer users. Our next step is to formulate more targetted programmes to increase their usage of online activities such as e-government transactions and e-banking."

A full report of the Infocomm Literacy Survey (382.50KB) is available on this website.


Highlights of Infocomm Literacy Survey

Non-infocomm literate

  • Language is a barrier to infocomm literacy, especially when majority of online information is in English. To address this, the Malay Internet Steering Committee and the Tamil Internet Steering Committee have been providing opportunities for the non-English speaking community to adopt infocomm technologies.
  • Across occupations, workers and labourers are more likely to be non-infocomm literate as traditionally, these jobs do not require infocomm competency.

Infocomm literate

  • Less than two in 10 of the non-working population (excluding students) are at least infocomm literate (Level 1). This reaffirms that infocomm literacy is likely to improve if one is in the workforce.
  • However, lack of time is often cited as the key reason for not attending infocomm training courses which can help to increase infocomm competency.
  • 56% of those who have attended infocomm training courses in the past one year are considered infocomm-savvy (Level 2). This corresponds to the fact that infocomm skills training improves one's competency in adopting infocomm technologies.
  • 74% of the infocomm-savvy population are at least comfortable in new technology, which contributes to higher acceptance of infocomm technologies and increased willingness to learn more.
  • 16% of professionals are considered e-business savvy (Level 3). This affirms the need for e-business training as Singapore moves towards becoming an increasingly infocomm-centric marketplace.

Highlights of Infocomm Literacy Survey
Title In MS Word In MS Powerpoint
Infocomm Training Framework-Graphic MS Powerpoint (219.50KB)
Infocomm Training Framework-Graphic MS Word (87.00KB)

About IDA

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, please visit

For further information, please contact:

Gabriel Wong or Joanne Kwan
Edelman Public Relations Worldwide
Tel: +65 6733-1110
Fax: +65 6733-5550
Email: or