SINGAPORE: More jobs will be available in growth areas like cloud computing and artificial intelligence as Singapore accelerates the creation of jobs in the ICT sector and across the economy, said Information and Communications Minister S Iswaran on Wednesday (Aug 26).
The jobs for both fresh graduates and mid-career professionals will be in areas like cybersecurity, data analytics, software and network engineering, as well as executive roles in business transformation for companies going digital, Mr Iswaran said.
President Halimah Yacob said on Monday that securing jobs is a priority for the Government over the next few years amid the economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) will be ramping up placements, traineeships and skills upgrading under several programmes - the SGUnited Jobs & Skills Package, the TechSkills Accelerator and Cybersecurity Development Programmes.
It will also step up efforts to digitalise Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprises which employ almost 70 per cent of the workforce. Businesses that digitalise their operations will receive support through various government schemes, including the Digital Resilience Bonus and the Start Digital Packs.
“MCI will promote a vibrant ecosystem for digital transformation through international connectivity, progressive regulation, and public-private partnerships,” said Mr Iswaran.
Singapore is also developing Digital Economy agreements with like-minded countries to establish digital trade rules and digital economy collaborations. These agreements have been signed with Australia, Chile and New Zealand, while talks are ongoing with South Korea.
Singapore’s innovation ecosystem will be empowered by investments in advanced infrastructure, and in research and development, Mr Iswaran said.
“We are building a secure and resilient 5G communications network, which will provide the foundation for innovative applications and services. We will grow indigenous capabilities in technologies that drive value creation.”
MCI will collaborate with academia, industry and other partners to strengthen R&D and translation capabilities, particularly in data, AI, cybersecurity, media and communications technology, he added.
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BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
In his addendum to the President’s address, Mr Iswaran said that the ministry also aims to bridge the “digital divide” by ensuring everyone has a “baseline level of digital access and skills”.
The National Library Board (NLB), which has expanded its focus beyond promoting reading to preparing Singaporeans for a digital future, will roll out a five-year Libraries and Archives Plan. More information about the plan, which is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2021, will be released at a later date.
NLB will also improve access to services for segments of the society, such as working professionals, who require more curated resources for learning and skills development, said Mr Iswaran.
“MCI aims to enable every Singaporean to thrive in a digital society. We will ensure that all Singaporeans have a baseline level of affordable digital access, especially vulnerable groups such as low-income seniors and families,” he said.
“Singaporeans will be equipped with the digital skills and literacy needed to go online safely and confidently.”
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He also said that the ministry will strengthen cybersecurity for Singapore’s Critical Information Infrastructure – systems providing essential services, such as energy, telecommunications and water. The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore will implement the Safer Cyberspace Masterplan to secure Singapore’s digital core, safeguard cyber activities and nurture a cyber-savvy population.
It will also expand the reach and impact of public education campaigns to equip Singaporeans with information and media literacy skills to protect themselves online.
“In a digital age where our common spaces are no longer just physical, MCI will protect our online and offline spaces, and build trust in our institutions and cohesion in our society through public communications and engagement,” he said.
“MCI will play its part to strengthen social cohesion and trust in the Government through timely, accessible and inclusive government communications.”