Speaking to the media at a doorstop interview on Oct. 2, Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran, said that thousands of job opportunities are expected to be created in the coming years in the telecoms industry for the purposes of 5G.
"Earlier this week, we talked about what we are doing in 5G - working with the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) – the telcos, and they have created some 1,000 opportunities, both to have fresh hires but also to rescale and upskill people who are already in the telecoms industry, for the purposes of 5G. Over the next few years, we expect that number to grow to several thousand - probably around 5,000 or so."
Job opportunities for those willing to learn and be trained
He also highlighted that the Company-Led Training (CLT) programmes under TechSkills Accelerator are important to prepare Singaporeans of different backgrounds for these opportunities.
The latest such programme, also the largest one by far, is the collaboration with Sea Limited (Sea), Shopee's parent company.
Iswaran was at the Shopee HQ Building to witness the signing of a memorandum of intent between the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Sea prior to the doorstop interview.
At the event, he also spoke to participants of the CLT programme.
Three of them had engineering backgrounds while one did a master's degree in architecture and worked in the architecture field for four years before making this career switch.
"That diversity is significant because what it tells us is that regardless of what your starting position is, you can articulate into opportunities in the tech sector, provided we are willing to learn and train."
Tech employers face challenges in hiring Singaporeans with necessary skillsets
Iswaran also shared with media that the tech employers are very willing to hire Singaporeans but their main challenge is in finding those with necessary skillsets.
"My conversation with tech employers, in general, is that they are very willing to be partners with us. I think their main challenge is finding Singaporeans who have got the requisite skills or who are willing to commit to learning the skills that are necessary in order to participate."
This explains the focus to use initiative such as CLT to develop the Singaporean core in the tech sector with leading industry players such as Shopee and Google.
"That is why our work in what we are doing and through TeSA, and through some of these specific initiatives like CLT are key, because what that enables us to do is really develop that Singaporean core in the tech sector, which is growing and growing fast, in partnership with our leading industry players."
Forrest Li, Chairman and Group CEO of Sea added:
“As a global consumer internet company born and bred in Singapore, we are honoured to partner with IMDA on this important initiative. This programme not only creates 500 highly-skilled, technical roles at Sea and Shopee for Singaporeans at all stages of their careers, but also ensures that these talents can access training and development opportunities to build thriving long-term careers in the ICT sector."
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Top photo by Sumita Thiagarajan.