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HR & EDUCATION, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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IMDA and IBM team up to provide tech skills training for professionals

Apprentices will go through 12 months of training in critical emerging tech areas.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority partnered with IBM to enhance tech skills of professionals in preparation for embracing the digital economy, an announcement revealed.

As IMDA’s newest partner in their company-led training program under the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) initiative, IBM will roll out their first ‘New Collar Apprenticeship’ initiative outside of the United States.

In addition, IBM will employ and upskill non-degree holders for infocomm technology (ICT) jobs who are working in the tech industry to aid the Lion City in solving the shortage of IT skills.

The initiative will let 70 apprentices over 2 years from 2018 to 2020 to have structured training through 12 months of on-the-job training in critical emerging tech areas such as application development, artificial intelligence, blockchain, data analytics, robotic process automation (RPA) and SAP.

According to IMDA CEO Tan Kit How, ICT professionals possessing tech skills in blockchain, data analytics, and artificial intelligence are in strong demand with digital transformation buoying industries.

“Through our partnership with IBM, aspiring local tech professionals will have another avenue to develop frontier tech skills, and seize exciting career opportunities in Singapore’s digital economy,” the CEO commented.

An earlier study by human resources firm Robert Half found that Singapore is facing skills shortage within the tech sector, as more than 92% of chief information officers (CIOs) noted that they had difficulties in finding qualified IT professionals compared to five years ago.

IMDA’s study found that firms have projected that the demand for infocomm professionals will grow by another 42,300 between 2017 to 2019.

The agency noted that new collar jobs in cybersecurity, cloud computing, cognitive business, and digital design are some of the tech industry’s fastest growing fields which puts the need on mastering skillsets and not only degree qualifications.

According to the announcement, Singaporean citizens preferably with a diploma in infocomm, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) or other related disciplines that have less than five years of working experience post-graduation will be eligible for the programme. 

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