Infocomm professionals now have an association for help to keep skills relevant

NTUC Secretary-General and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Ng Chee Meng viewing a demonstration of advanced analytics capabilities at SAS Institute. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - In an age of rapid technological changes that have created new jobs and rendered others obsolete, even infocomm technology (ICT) professionals need help ensuring their skills remain relevant.

Over the next year, the Tech Talent Assembly will work with industry partners to develop initiatives targeted at the 180,000 infocomm professionals in Singapore, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) announced on Monday (Oct 29).

Members of the association, which is affiliated with NTUC, can make use of gig platforms to match companies with those who have the relevant skills. Such a platform can encourage members to develop their skills and build up their infocomm-related portfolio so they can be employed, said association president Ng Tiong Gee.

"While we continue to protect and promote workers' interests, we are also expanding our networks to represent more workers, including professionals in the ICT industry," Mr Ng Chee Meng, NTUC Secretary-General and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, said on Monday.

While the infocomm industry is growing and there are exciting job opportunities for infocomm professionals, he said the industry will also be impacted by rapid technological advancements.

"We want to help prepare workers for the future and transform them into Worker 4.0 - help them to be prepared for new jobs, relevant with new skills and resilient to new ways of working," added Mr Ng.

The association was formed on July 19 and first mentioned during the NTUC May Day Rally 2018 as part of the Labour Movement's plans to support infocomm professionals.

Members can expect initiatives such as fireside chats with industry leaders to discuss the latest technology trends as well as presentations by employers on hiring expectations and challenges.

A series of talks called the Thought Leadership Series will kick off on Nov 28 at NTUC Centre, focusing on cybersecurity and subsequently, topics such as data analytics, cloud technology and digital marketing.

Separately, there will be sandboxing sessions to allow companies and professionals to work on projects together.

The association will also work with the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to pilot programmes for in-employment workers or mid-career job seekers for skills upgrading.

Infocomm professionals can apply to be members by paying a membership fee of $9 a month. Some events will be members-only while others are open to everyone in the field.

The announcement on Monday was made at SAS, a data analytics solution provider. The association president Ng Tiong Gee is the chairman of Yellow Pages and has over 30 years of experience in the infocomm technology sector.

Mr Ng Tiong Gee said infocomm professionals and companies in the industry face common challenges, especially in equipping workers with the right technology skills ahead of time.

"By providing leadership guidance from industry experts on industry trends and skillsets required, coupled with opportunities for sandbox, gig jobs or apprenticeship programmes for our members, I believe this will help them to be future-ready for the new wave of technologies," he added.

The speed of change in the industry is unprecedented, said Mr Ng Tiong Gee, and it is disrupting the way companies operate and affecting workers' jobs.

"The awareness of some people on the changes around them is not fully there and people are being displaced," he said, adding that the association will be a platform to help them learn.

"We hope to prepare workers for changes and nurture tech talent, giving them lifelong employability."

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