How to upgrade yourself to jump on board the future economy’s bandwagon


Remember when everyday cashless payments were the future?

The thing about the future economy is that it very soon becomes the present economy.

Workers will, like Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo said at the 5G Learning Festival on Oct 13, need new digital skills to navigate it.

Especially since the network and infrastructure for 5G telecoms are already here — in fact, we’re first in the world for nationwide 5G coverage.

The Government’s got a threefold #levelup plan for Singapore’s workers in this world of 5G and other emerging technologies.

This plan includes:

  1. Upskilling Singapore’s overall workforce with in-demand digital skills
  2. Upgrading Singapore’s techies in particular with skills to help them stay relevant (These guys and girls will do the metaphorical #bossraids of the future economy)
  3. A #partyup with industry to boost reskilling efforts

It’s a good plan — everyone needs tech, new tech keeps coming and industry partners have that #drip of deep knowledge and innovative infrastructure for reskilling.

And it’s part of the Equip pillar under Forward Singapore, where Singaporeans get lifelong learning opportunities.

In more detail (and also how to get in on it):

Upskilling Singapore’s overall workforce with in-demand digital skills

This, frankly, is a biiiiig part of the plan. Singapore’s workforce is 2.5 million strong.

So here, there’s now the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) initiative at the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

It’s trained more than 160,000 people from many walks of life — from student to mid-level professional — with in-demand skills such as AI, the Internet of Things and Cloud Engineering.

IMDA also has the 5G & Telecoms Academy (5G Academy), where IMDA partners with Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) like the National University of Singapore and Singapore Polytechnic as well as industry.

The 5G Academy offers around 800 courses in areas like Augmented Reality and Extended Reality; it’s trained over 7,000 professionals since its 2020 launch.

Upgrading Singapore’s techies with pertinent skills

This bit’s about a map. Specifically, the Information & Communications (I&C) Jobs Transformation Map (JTM).

The Map’s building on the foundations TeSA laid; it’s deepening the reskilling and resilience of Singapore’s I&C workers.

“If you have some sense of where the industry is going and how enterprises should be transformed in accordance with the industry developments, then it stands to reason that equally you must define how the jobs will change and how the skills requirements will change,” explained Minister Teo.

“That is what the Jobs Transformation Map is supposed to do.”

5G, IoT, Blockchain and Cloud Computing are earmarked as destinations for this transformative trip.

Here, the JTM guides employers in redesigning jobs for impacted workers. It provides necessary training or reskilling — these workers can get an evolved or emerging job role afterwards.

It’s necessary for keeping Singapore’s workers competitive. The tech workforce in our I&C sector increased by nearly 30 per cent from 2017 to 2021 and Just. Keeps. Growing.

Partnering with industry to boost reskilling

So, the Government wants more industry partners while these large-scale worker upgrading schemes are going on.

Training Partner Consortia are coming, just wait for the IMDA’s Call-for-Proposal exercise.

There, appointed Training Partners will assist employers in identifying (and reskilling!) at-risk I&C professionals.

Then, Training Partners will, working with (IHLs), reskill these I&C pros.

Programmes on basic and intermediate skills in Software Engineering, Cloud & Mobility, AI & Analytics feature here. And redeployment as well as customised on-the-job training are envisioned as an additional service which Training Partners can give heavily-impacted employees.

The future gets closer

There’s more tech progress coming to Singapore overall. Not least since the Government’s having Singapore’s 5G solutions #levelup with a S$30 million 5G Innovation tech programme, and Singapore International Cyber Week runs from October 17-22 .

Digital futures are coming, and unlike the Matrix (which at that time was a cutting-edge vision of the future), you can’t #dodgethis.

But #partyup with these Government efforts and you’ll find your way forward.

Cover photo credit: IMDA