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Speech at TechSkills Accelerator For Career Services Day 2016

Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower, Lifelong Learning Institute

Howie Lau, President SCS

Benjamin Mah, SiTF

Desmond Choo, Labour MP / Director NTUC

Gary Goh, Deputy CEO, e2i

Ng Cher Pong, CE, SkillsFuture Singapore

Tan Choon Shian, CE, Workforce Singapore

Khoong Hock Yun, ACE, IMDA

Partners and Friends

  1. Our economy and local workforce are going through major transition, from higher quantity growth to lower but better quality growth.
  2. Our aim is to create better jobs and careers to meet the higher aspirations of our people who are and will continue to be better educated and better skilled.
  3. The Infocomm Technology sector, ICT for short, is a good illustration. Technology is fast changing, and offers endless opportunities for us to exploit as a smart nation, and export as a leading ICT hub.
  4. There are currently more than 8,500 job vacancies posted in the Jobs Bank.
  5. In a survey conducted by IDA last year, there were more than 20,000 ICT job vacancies in the ICT core sector as well as other sectors such as finance and healthcare. 
  6. With the rapid emergence of digital economy and our vision of Smart Nation, we will see exciting growth in jobs and career options in ICT for years to come.
  7. From software development, to cyber security, data analytics, and network and infrastructure support.
  8. To better connect the growing scope of ICT career opportunities with the diverse interest of ICT jobseekers, we need to overcome two challenges – missed match and mismatch.
  9. First, the challenge of missed match.
  10. The faster the pace of change in ICT technology, infrastructure, innovation and application, the more difficult it will be for jobseekers to keep track of where and how to pursue what could be suitable for them. 
  11. As a result, the jobs are there, the jobseekers are there, but the two may keep missing each other like two ships passing by each other in the dark.
  12. We need to reduce such missed match.
  13. Second, the challenge of mismatch. 
  14. Even if the jobseekers know what ICT jobs they want, they may not have the skills, expertise and experience needed by the employers. This applies to not just newcomers to the ICT sector, but also those with some years of ICT experience. Because of the fast pace of technological change, many need to re-learn so as to remain or re-enter the ICT sector.
  15. To overcome this twin challenges of missed match and mismatch, the tripartite partners in ICT have come together to launch probably the most comprehensive and coordinated career support system we have put together, to-date.
  16. These initiatives are driven by the ICT sector and professional body (SCS), supported by the union (NTUC, e2i), and facilitated by the government agencies (IMDA, WSG, SSG).
  17. The first initiative is Integrated Career Services for TechSkills Accelerator, TeSA ICS for short.
  18. The TeSA ICS is a support network to help update ICT professionals and jobseekers on the availability of jobs and careers, and the types of training and knowledge needed to stay relevant in the industry.   
  19. With the ICS, individuals can now access the full suite of career assistance and resources, when they visit any career centre at WSG, e2i, or U PME for career support, as well as when they seek career mentoring at SCS.
  20. The second initiative is the SkillsFuture Career Advisors for ICT. Currently, e2i and Career Centres of Workforce Singapore do provide broad-based career guidance to jobseekers.
  21. But increasingly, we see the need to provide more in-depth career advice targeted at specific sectors.
  22. This is due to faster pace of change and growing scope for intra-sector specialisation and conversion.
  23. We are kicking off this SkillsFuture Career Advisors Programme, a new programme under the Adapt and Grow initiative, with the ICT sector today.
  24. For this Career Advisor programme to be effective, the strong support and participation of the industry and professional bodies is critical.  
  25. For the ICT sector, we are fortunate to have the strong partnership of the Singapore Computer Society (SCS).
  26. SCS has aptly named the service for ICT as Career Compass, since its purpose is to help job seekers find their own ‘True North’ based on their personal passions and career objectives.
  27. Career Compass will tap on the knowledge and expertise of industry veterans with rich work experience and in-depth occupational insights.
  28. They will help PMET job seekers, including those who rejoin after some years, to gain a better understanding of the skills and jobs in demand so that they can make informed career decisions.
  29. These Career Advisors can also advise mid-career PMETs on suitable Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) to help them reskill and transit to new job roles in ICT.
  30. To date, more than 100 ICT Career Advisors have already stepped forward to offer their assistance.
  31. Among the ICT Career Advisors who are with us today, are highly-experienced practitioners and leaders from diverse fields such as Analytics, Cyber Security,
  32. Software Development, Network and Infrastructure.
  33. Mr Wong Tew Kiat, Managing Director of Organisation Resilience Management Pte Ltd is one of them.
  34. With more than 30 years of specialisation in Business Continuity, IT Disaster recovery and Data Centre Management, Tew Kiat is keen to assist fellow ICT professionals on how they could progress and plan their career development in the face of ever changing trends in the ICT sector.
  35. Besides one-on-one coaching, our career advisors will also hold group mentoring sessions under SCS’s Career Crossroads Mentoring series.
  36. They will share their experiences and insights on the skills and personal attributes required to succeed in ICT.
  37. Please join me in thanking all our ICT Career Advisors for committing their time and effort so selflessly to help nurture and grow our national pool of ICT professionals.
  38. The third initiative is the staging of a longer and better virtual career fair for ICT.  
  39. Last month, Workforce Singapore introduced a virtual career fair for four job sectors. The response was most encouraging.
  40. More than 2,900 visitors browsed for jobs online, and accessed e-resources on career pathways and progression.
  41. Some also participated in “live” chats with employers and career coaches.
  42. Organised by WSG, that first virtual career fair ran for 3 weeks. 
  43. This month, e2i is holding another ICT e-Career Fair. It will run longer for a period of 6 weeks.
  44. We are also providing jobseekers with better tools to maximise their prospects of securing the jobs they want.
  45. For a start, a 2-day visume workshop was held last week (third time this year)
  46. to help jobseekers increase their visibility with hiring employers.
  47. We will try out more tools as we bring more jobs and jobseekers to the online marketplace.
  48. In conclusion, when there is a shortage of jobs, unemployment will rise. When there is a shortage of good jobs,
  49. under-employment will go up. When there is more job-skill mismatch, structural unemployment will increase.
  50. All three forms of unemployment are bad.
  51. To minimise them, we need to work together in strong tripartite partnership.
  52. I thank our “vertical” sectoral partners - (SCS, IMDA) and “horizontal” national partners (NTUC, e2i, WSG, SSG) for coming together.  
  53. Your collective efforts will ensure that we can all serve the career needs of our people, and meet the manpower needs of our businesses, better and faster.
  54. Let us work together in full alignment, from sector to sector, to develop a manpower-lean economy with better jobs and careers for all.   
  55. Thank you.