Boosting S'porean core in infocomm tech sector

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said last week that foreigners made up one-third of the workforce in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry ("Most of workers in ICT sector are citizens, PRs"; last Friday).

But how many of them are in leadership roles? This may have an effect, directly or indirectly, on the attraction and development of a strong Singaporean ICT core ("Infocomm tech sector 'needs more S'poreans'"; Monday).

Why is the ICT industry not attractive to many Singaporeans, despite the various training grants available?

Is it a question of salary and skills retraining for a perceived unattractive role which might be offshored in the future?

If so, how would the SkillsFuture initiative be different or a game changer?

What is the breakdown of the Singaporean talent pool in the ICT sector on the client side, such as banking and finance, compared with the vendor's side?

As Singapore strives to attract and collaborate with foreign and local companies to develop the country as a regional hub in digital innovation and as a smart nation, it is imperative that local and foreign talent, fresh graduates and mid-career professionals be harnessed to address this new development.

What are the corresponding value-add activities versus value creation in this process?

As Singapore strives to attract and collaborate with companies to develop the country as a regional hub in digital innovation and as a smart nation, it is imperative that local and foreign talent, fresh graduates and mid-career professionals be harnessed to address this new development.

We have been grappling with a manpower crunch in the ICT sector for a number of years already.

It seems that there may be more fundamental issues which may not have been addressed.

We should learn from the plans implemented in the past.

Kelvin Chin Chung Wei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2016, with the headline 'Boosting S'porean core in infocomm tech sector'. Print Edition | Subscribe