SINGAPORE: Thousands of jobs for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMET) are being created in the professional services sector, in new roles such as cybersecurity consultants, data engineers and legal tech experts.
The sector - which includes architecture and engineering services, accounting and advertising - unveiled its industry transformation map (ITM) on Wednesday (Jan 24), which charts its vision to become a "global market leader in high-value and specialist services".
At the heart of the roadmap are initiatives to drive innovation and equip the workforce with skill sets in areas such as data science and artificial intelligence over the next five to 10 years, the Economic Development Board (EDB) said.
With the roadmap, the professional services sector is projected to grow at an average rate of 4.6 per cent from 2015 to reach a value-add of S$31 billion by 2020. The aim is also to generate 5,500 jobs every year till 2020.
"The professional services sector is a growing industry with tremendous potential for job creation," said Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah, who launched the ITM at the opening of advertising agency Dentsu Aegis Network's regional headquarters at Guoco Tower.
"The ITM is an integrated plan that will enable our firms to scale, innovate and increase their productivity, while preparing Singaporeans to take on exciting new jobs such as digital product developers, data modellers and risk advisory professionals."
Ms Indranee said that the Government will work closely with stakeholders, including industry associations and professional bodies, to help drive the sector's transformation.
UPSKILLING AND RESKILLING WORKFORCE
With the creation of new jobs in high-growth areas in the sector, help is at hand for workers to upskill and reskill, EDB said.
For example, more than 10 Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) related to professional services have been launched under Workforce Singapore’s Adapt and Grow initiative, which was set up to help Singaporeans adapt to changing job demands in a restructuring economy.
Four new PCPs in areas such as programmatic advertising and building information modelling will also be launched by the third quarter of this year.
Meanwhile, collaborations between Institutes of Higher Learning and firms in the sector will be strengthened, with SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programmes (ELP) launched in areas such as accountancy, visual communications, and branding and digital marketing.
TAPPING ON GLOBAL TRENDS AND GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES
The roadmap has identified key high-growth areas in various sub-sectors, such as data science, analytics and artificial intelligence for companies in advertising, consulting and engineering services.
To strengthen the industry's innovation capabilities, the Government will help to facilitate collaborations between companies, start-ups and research institutes through the setting up of living labs to test-bed and commercialise solutions in a live environment.
As part of the roadmap, a data-sharing consortium involving giants such as Google, Grab and Adobe will be created to help businesses drive marketing innovation through smarter data use.
New initiatives will be developed to enhance Singapore's global market position and the export of services to regional and global markets, EDB said. The Government will also help businesses to expand overseas and work with industry associations to promote global business opportunities.
As of 2016, the professional services industry employed more than 230,000 people - or 6.4 per cent of the workforce - making up 6.5 per cent of Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP) and contributing S$25 billion in value-add.