Singapore's smart nation drive receives manpower boost

The NCS programme - called Solutions for Urbanised Future, or Surf - aims to train young professionals in key areas of smart city development, such as coding, data science and data analytics.
The NCS programme - called Solutions for Urbanised Future, or Surf - aims to train young professionals in key areas of smart city development, such as coding, data science and data analytics.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - More local companies have joined a Government-backed initiative to provide the much needed manpower to fuel Singapore's smart nation drive.

Locally-based systems integrator NCS is the latest firm to join the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore's (IDA) company-led training (CLT) initiative, which helps companies recruit, mentor and train young professionals from polytechnics or universities in the infocomm industry.

NCS will provide on-the-job training and industry experience over the next two years to 100 Singaporean graduates, who are either fresh out of university or not have more than three years of work experience. This will be the largest intake of trainees since the CLT was introduced in 2011.

The NCS programme - called Solutions for Urbanised Future, or Surf - aims to train young professionals in key areas of smart city development, such as coding, data science and data analytics.

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, who was speaking at the launch of the NCS programme on Thursday, said that there two core priorities for Singapore.

"First, we want to increase the number of Singaporeans in this profession. This is a career of good jobs, with good pay and prospects."

"Second, we must improve our level of expertise as we move from being an intelligent island to a Smart Nation, as we will be required to build many new expertise, new capabilities, to not only ensure that the Smart Nation vision will be realised, but more importantly, that it would be one of the best in the world," said Mr Lim.

NCS, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of local telco Singtel, will mentor their trainees in urban planning and smart city research, both internally through their senior specialists and externally by exposure to client projects.

"The launch of the Surf training programme is a timely one as Singapore accelerates its smart nation initiatives that will ultimately transform the way we live, work, learn and play," said Singtel group chief executive Chua Sock Koong. "For Singapore to stay ahead in smart city development we must nurture a culture of experimentation and innovation where these young professionals can develop skills and experience in sustainable smart solutions."

lesterh@sph.com.sg