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Infocomm Talent As A Key Driver Of Singapore's Economic Competitiveness

5 August 2008 - Speech By RADM(NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Minister Of State For Education, and Information, Communications And The Arts, at The National Infocomm Scholarship 2008 Award Ceremony, The Arts House, Chamber Room

Speech By RADM(NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Minister Of State For Education, and Information, Communications And The Arts, at The National Infocomm Scholarship 2008 Award Ceremony, The Arts House, Chamber Room, on 5 August 2008 (Tuesday) at 5.00pm

RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA),
Industry partners,
Scholars and parents,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. It gives me great pleasure to join you today at the National Infocomm Scholarship award ceremony. First, let me begin by congratulating all the scholarship recipients, and thank the industry partners who have been giving their strong support for these scholarships.

Infocomm Industry Continues To Grow

2. The future of infocomm offers promising growth prospects. The infocomm industry has registered steady growth over the last six years. Last year, this industry recorded double-digit growth of almost 14 per cent, generating close to S$52 billion in revenue. The infocomm talent pool grew by some nine percent, hitting a new employment record of over 130,000 infocomm professionals.

3. As the future talents of the infocomm industry, you will not only further the industry’s growth, but also contribute to the development of other economic sectors which leverage infocomm, such as healthcare and defence. Imagine how innovative infocomm solutions can help healthcare institutions reduce costs, provide better patient care and improve customer service through more timely, efficient and accessible service. In the same vein, infocomm helps create new sophisticated defence systems to protect our homeland.

Exciting And Rewarding Job Prospects

4. The National Infocomm Scholarship or NIS is now in its fifth year. We are awarding a record number of 48 scholarships this year, the highest number since the NIS’ inception. 155 top students from our junior colleges, polytechnics and universities have received the scholarships since 2004. Of these, 38 have joined the infocomm workforce since 2005, and another 24 in the next two years.

5. I understand a number of our infocomm scholars have already embarked on exciting careers overseas and locally. Take for instance James Tan, a developer with Germany’s Novell who is involved in the development of next generation software for the open enterprise. Jason Wei has developed an AV & IT system for a new 7-star hotel in Shanghai, and Lo Weng Chew is engaged in the development of Web 2.0 and server technologies in IBM in the US. Locally, Philip Tan joined Barclays Capital’s Commodities IT Team, which is responsible for the commodity trading system. Clarence Khoo is charting the next palette of new Value Added Services to be offered by SingTel.

IDA And Industry Partners Develop Talents

6. The NIS will not be possible without the strong support of industry partners. The scholarship’s uniqueness lies in the collaboration between leading multi-national corporations, local companies and government agencies spanning diverse sectors, to nurture next generation infocomm talent. Beyond academia, the sponsor organisations also offer scholars the opportunity to accrue valuable work experience and industry-relevant mentorships even before graduation. This early industrial exposure and hands-on experience enhance scholars’ industry readiness.

7. This year, seven more leading industry organisations have joined the list of NIS supporting organisations in 2008, bringing the total number of industry sponsors to 27. The seven new partners are Barclays Capital, e-Cop (S) Pte Ltd, MobileOne Ltd, SAS Institute Pte Ltd, ST Electronics (Training & Simulation Systems) Pte Ltd, Symantec Singapore Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd. I encourage more companies to come forward to support NIS.

8. IDA is committed to grooming a sustainable pool of industry-ready, globally competitive infocomm professionals. In this respect, IDA has enhanced its Talent Management Programme which aims to offer scholars a career head-start. Over the next three years till 2010, IDA will sponsor up to S$7,000 for each scholar to up-skill himself or herself. Besides the current courses and certifications offered to the scholars, the Talent Management Programme will also provide scholars with the opportunities to attend conferences and seminars such as the IDA Distinguished Infocomm Speaker series. There will also be several networking opportunities with peers, IDA, and sponsoring organisations, most of whom are here with us today.


9. In conclusion, I would like to thank the industry partners for their continued support for the NIS and my heartiest congratulations to the scholars. I wish you success in your studies and look forward to your contributions as the next generation infocomm talent.

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