TL;DR Recommendations will enhance training opportunities, recognise diverse avenues of skills development, and enable workers to fulfil tech roles and thrive in ICT jobs.
A report titled, ‘Trends, Jobs and Skills for ICT Professionals’ released by National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Strategy, Tech Talent Assembly (TTAB), and NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB) highlights the positive employment outlook of Singapore’s info-comm and tech industry despite talent shortages and a slower pace of hiring.
The report serves to share strategic recommendations that reinforce the value of building collaborative efforts across different groups of stakeholders to enhance training opportunities, recognise diverse avenues of skills development, and enable workers to fulfil tech roles and thrive in ICT jobs — which remains in strong demand locally.
Mr Jeremy Ong, CEO of NTUC LearningHub said, “In today’s fast-paced economy, digitalisation and workplace transformation is inevitable as it continues to impact the way we work. Therefore, it is important to not only be well-equipped with the relevant skills to meet the demands of the workplace today, but we also need to prepare for the future of work. The right skills training will enable workers to remain agile, embrace transformation, and even adapt to future disruptions. We need to equip the workforce with industry-relevant vertical skills for the future of work in the digital economy, supplemented with horizontal skills such as critical core skills (soft skills) and tech-lite skills to help them transition into new and better job roles.”
The report identifies the widening skills gap as a key challenge for ICT workers in Singapore, with the top three skills in demand being Cybersecurity & Personal Data Protection, Cloud, IT Infrastructure & Support, and Enterprise Risk Management & Business Continuity.
To address this challenge, the report recommends ten strategies to promote a sustainable employment cycle, including expanding training and upskilling opportunities, building collaborative efforts among stakeholders, and recognizing diverse avenues of skills development.
The 10 recommendations are:
- Tap on the resources and expertise of the veteran ICT Professionals
- Identify higher-value tech job roles for local mid-careerists
- Leverage company training outside of organisations
- Recognition of skills acquired through non-formal and informal learning, including micro-credentials
- Using a consortium approach to enable SMEs to scale up training for ICT professionals
- Promote the formation of Special Interest Groups that enable an exchange of skills and knowledge
- Skills-based Approach to Hiring and Developing Talent
- Apprenticeship-by Degrees
- Facilitate the development of the overseas experience of ICT professionals
- Protection of remote ICT professionals
Commenting on the formulation of the recommendations, NTUC’s Assistant Secretary-General and Director of Strategy, Mr Patrick Tay said, “With a better understanding of the developing ICT landscape, multi-stakeholders must synergise efforts to implement strategies to tackle the gaps. By investing in our human capital through facilitated employment and training, it will enable workers to gain competitive skills and have fairer access to better job outcomes. Together, we can shape a more reliable and productive labour force in Singapore.”
Ongoing Efforts to Improve Wages and Work Prospects of Tech Workers
In conjunction with the launch of the report, Tech Talent Assembly (TTAB), Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) and Banking and Financial Services Union (BFSU) announced a strategic partnership addressing two of the 10 recommendations. They are – the recognition of skills acquired through non-formal and informal learning, including micro-credentials, and adoption of a skills-based approach to hiring and developing talent.
The partnership between TTAB, OCBC Bank and BFSU is a testament to forming strong labour-management collaboration to broaden the capabilities of workers in Singapore
It aims to provide training programs to prospective employees, job seekers and Labour Movement network members in Singapore to enhance their skills to stay updated on evolving market trends.
Mr Ng Tiong Gee, President of TTAB said, “Singapore needs many tech talents if we are to compete in the digital world. By establishing the relevant competencies and certifications, we aim to help technology workers and mid-careerists navigate and be the compass for them.”
Ms Annie Lee, President of BFSU shared, “OCBC Bank has been our partner for many years and BFSU is excited to further work with the bank on this partnership. We believe that this new project will positively impact our workers and open new job opportunities for them to move into.”