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Enhancing Job Opportunities for Retrenched Workers Through Infocomm Training

Another wave of enhancements to two key infocomm training initiatives were announced today to stimulate the Singapore labour market. The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), administrator of the two programmes, explains that this move ...

Singapore, 21 January 2002 | For Immediate Release

Another wave of enhancements to two key infocomm training initiatives were announced today to stimulate the Singapore labour market. The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), administrator of the two programmes, explains that this move will encourage more retrenched individuals to take up infocomm training and improve their employment opportunities as a result. 

With revised funding guidelines and increased training allowances, the enhancements in the Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme (CITREP) and the Strategic Manpower Conversion Programme (SMCP) will benefit more individuals. In view of the current economic conditions, these enhancements will encourage skills training and upgrading for enhanced employability.

In addition, the administration of CITREP and SMCP will now come under the purview of the National Infocomm Competency Centre (NICC). Comprising members from the infocomm industry, the NICC is attuned to the needs and concerns of the industry. This puts them in an ideal position to offer value-added counsel in the development of training, accreditation and certification programmes. The NICC's eventual goal is to function as the central body within and beyond the infocomm industry looking after all matters related to infocomm training.

Mr Leong Keng Thai, Acting Chief Executive Officer of IDA said: "Job creation and job matching for retrenched workers will be a key priority for the government in the months ahead. In an industry like infocomm where specific skill-sets are sought after, targeted infocomm training will help to improve these individuals' employability and placement opportunities."

"With the latest round of enhancements to these two training programmes, we hope to see more retrenched professionals taking up infocomm courses to upgrade their skills and knowledge. Employers should also take advantage of the enhanced guidelines to sponsor their staff for training. This will strengthen the company's competitive advantage to better weather the current economic slowdown," added Mr Leong.

Mr Alex Siow, Chairman of NICC, said: "In the face of challenging economic conditions, individuals with the right skill-sets will be more likely to stay employed. The NICC's mission is to provide both infocomm and non-infocomm professionals with assistance to re-skill and upgrade, especially in certification courses. Certification will ensure that the skills acquired have been benchmarked against industry practices, thereby further improving their employability. Working closely with the government and the industry, we are committed to building and nurturing a dynamic infocomm workforce to enhance the competitiveness of the infocomm industry in Singapore".

The Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme (CITREP)

As part of the enhancements, the funding level of CITREP courses will be increased to 70%, capped at S$3,500 (previously S$2,500), to encourage infocomm professionals to embark on internationally-recognised certification courses.

In addition, retrenched infocomm professionals undertaking CITREP courses will be reimbursed with a "retrenched re-skilling allowance" of S$40 per day for full time training, capped at S$800 per month for a maximum of three months. This enhanced guideline aims to motivate retrenched individuals to actively engage in re-skilling and upgrading of their skill-sets.

CITREP has been aligned to encourage experienced infocomm professionals to pursue certification of their infocomm skills. Professionals who do not need further training but require certification of their skill-sets can now claim for the examination fees of NICC-accredited and CITREP-endorsed certification courses at a rate of 70%, capped at S$1,500.

The Strategic Manpower Conversion Programme (SMCP)

In response to the economic downturn, the guidelines for SMCP have also been revised to encourage non-infocomm professionals to re-train and seek employment in the infocomm industry.

From January - December 2002, the job placement criteria for SMCP will be lifted to allow trainees (either company or self-sponsored) to claim 50% of their course fees, capped at S$4,000, upon successful completion of their training. Previously, the grant was only disbursed if trainees were able to find employment within six months of completing the programme.

In particular, self-sponsored trainees who are retrenched will receive a full-time training allowance equivalent to 50% of last drawn salary, capped at S$40 per day or S$800 per month.

To further motivate companies to employ existing or new staff after their conversion training through SMCP, an On-the-Job-Training (OJT) allowance will be disbursed to employers of SMCP trainees. This is equivalent to 50% of the trainee's new salary, capped at S$800 per month for a period of three months.

Issued on behalf of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore by Edelman Public Relations Worldwide.

Notes to Editor:

More details on CITREP and SMCP can be found on the IDA website at under the section 'Infocomm Training Schemes' and the NICC website at

For queries, the public can contact:

NICC - Tel: 225 5501 / Email:
or IDA - Tel: 211 0474 / Email:

From 17 January onwards, all SMCP applications - course endorsement, grant and claim applications - can be done via IDA's Infocomm Lifelong Learning Management System (ILLMS). The ILLMS can be found at IDA's website under 'Infocomm Training Schemes'. For queries regarding ILLMS, the public can call IDA at tel: 211 0474 or email:

Please see Annex 1 on the enhanced CITREP guidelines; Annex 2 on the enhanced SMCP guidelines and Annex 3 on the Infocomm Training Framework (6.47MB).

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, please visit

About the National Infocomm Competency Centre (NICC)

NICC is formed by three key IT industry bodies in Singapore: the Singapore Computer Society (SCS), Singapore IT Federation (SITF) and IT Managers' Association (ITMA), with strong support and funding from IDA. Tasked to enhance the employability of Singapore's infocomm workforce, NICC is instrumental in developing infocomm training, accreditation and certification programmes. Besides administering the funding guidelines for infocomm training initiatives, NICC is also involved in the accreditation of infocomm certification programmes on the local, regional and international level.

About the Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme (CITREP)

Under level 5 (Infocomm Specialisation) of the Infocomm Training Framework, CITREP is a training incentive programme which is designed to accelerate the development of critical and emerging infocomm skills. Targeted at infocomm professionals, the programme provides them with essential skills upgrading so that they will be better equipped to meet the challenges of the knowledge-based economy. With the specialised skills the infocomm professionals have attained, it will help increase the competitive advantage of their employer, as well as enhance their employability in the industry. Since its launch in 1989, the programme has been well received by the industry. To-date, the programme has benefited over 7,600 trainees.

About the Strategic Manpower Conversion Programme (SMCP)

SMCP was launched in April 2000 as an incentive programme by IDA and the Ministry of Manpower to convert non-infocomm professionals and re-skill them as infocomm professionals (categorised under L4: Conversion in the Infocomm Training Framework). The purpose of this training programme is to enable these non-infocomm professionals to take on jobs in the fast-paced infocomm industry through the conversion training. Equipped with the relevant skill-set, SMCP trainees will be able to support positions in programming, systems analysis, consultancy, networking, database administration, infocomm education and training, etc. SMCP has trained about 400 trainees to-date.

For more information, please contact:

Choong Cheng Theng or Joanne Kwan
Edelman Public Relations Worldwide
Phone: +65 6733 1110
Fax: +65 6733 5550

Ms Chia Sher Ling 
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 6211-1840
Fax: +65 6211-2227