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Infocomm is Enriching and Rewarding

8 April 2009 - Address By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore, As Guest Of Honour at The Republic Polytechnic School Of Information & Communications Technology Graduation Ceremony 2009, Republic Cultural Centre

Address By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore, As Guest Of Honour, At The Republic Polytechnic School Of Information & Communications Technology Graduation Ceremony 2009, 8 April 2009 (Friday), 2.05pm At Republic Cultural Centre

Mr Yeo Li Pheow, Principal and CEO of Republic Polytechnic,

Members of the IT Advisory Committee,

Parents and Graduands,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon.

1. It is a real pleasure for me to be here at this afternoon’s graduation ceremony. Let me first extend my heartiest congratulations to all 569 graduands of the School of Information and Communications Technology, you have all worked hard over the past three years to attain your well-deserved diplomas today. Congratulations are due too to all parents, families, loved ones and lecturers, for their efforts in supporting and encouraging the graduands through their years of study. I am sure they are all very proud of the graduands.

2. To the graduands, as you obtain your Diplomas, you might be thinking of whether you should further your studies in infocomm at the university immediately, or get a job in the infocomm industry. You might be factoring the current economic downturn in your decision, but whatever it is, let me encourage you to stay positive about infocomm, whether as a career or a course of study.

3. The infocomm sector is one of the key components of our economy, contributing some six per cent to our national GDP. Infocomm is the foundation of most, if not all business transformation and processes. It is a key enabler that continually transforms the way we work, live, learn and play. You can be confident that your course here at the Republic Polytechnic has equipped you well with strong infocomm competencies. In this regard, may I commend the Republic Polytechnic’s efforts in collaborating with the industry in providing you with the skills that meet the needs of both infocomm and end-user organisations. The training you received through the Enterprise Computing Learning Centre, the IT Service Management Practice Laboratory and the SAP BPERP certification is most valuable in ensuring that you will be ‘industry-ready’ by the time you graduate. Whatever you choose to do next, I would urge you to always keep your infocomm skills updated, for infocomm is a fast-changing area of technology and applications.

4. For those who wish to continue your infocomm studies in the university, IDA has put in place some programmes that are aimed at increasing your capabilties. For instance, the National Infocomm Scholarship provides NIS scholars with the unique opportunity to be nurtured by leading MNCs, local companies and government agencies during their course of study, through company mentorships and overseas work attachments.

5. IDA also offers the Enhanced Learning in Infocomm Technology Programme to undergraduates to enhance their infocomm capabilities through the acquisition of practical infocomm skills and business domain knowledge at our three local universities. Students will benefit from industry mentorship and attachments, project work opportunities and professional certification courses to boost their technical capabilities and acquire deeper understanding of business processes in key economic sectors.

6. For those who are keen to start their infocomm work career now, there are many opportunities for you, whether in the infocomm companies or end-user organisations. According to a survey conducted by IDA last year, there were 139,000 infocomm professionals employed in 2008 and some 6,500 infocomm job vacancies. While the general employment outlook for Singapore is more subdued this year due to the economic downturn, the outlook for the industry is still positive. Based on industry feedback, there continues to be demand in various industry segments, such as software development, software design, business process outsourcing management, solutioning and architecting and infocomm security.

7. IDA recognises the need to develop a full complement of infocomm manpower, from network management to IT services provision to research and development. Toward this end, we have worked with industry to develop the National Infocomm Competency Framework or NICF in short. The NICF specifies the certification and competencies you need to progress in your infocomm careers. We also have the Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme, or CITREP, which provides funding support for infocomm course and examination fees. You will be pleased to know that we have increased in funding support from 50 to 80 per cent from this month onwards.

8. In closing, I want to say that an infocomm career is an exciting and challenging profession which offers a wide scope of options. You will have the opportunity to create new knowledge, attain your potential and fulfil your aspirations. It could be where you can make a difference and positively impact the workplace, society and even the world. So continue to innovate and add value by keeping yourself abreast on the developments in infocomm technology and practices. I wish you every success in your future endeavours. Thank you.