Enterprise software company SAP yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and the five polytechnics here to launch the SAP Skills University Singapore.
It is not an educational institution per se, but refers to a set of programmes geared towards training mid-career professionals and poly graduates in information and communications technology (ICT) skills and preparing them to use these skills in the job market.
Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung, who witnessed the MOU signing, said: "It is a new idea for industries to train (graduates and professionals) for the whole industry or beyond the industry.
"And I am glad SAP is doing so with the support of SSG."
He said the initiative was a positive step for the lifelong learning movement because "the industry and companies are training workers and students... in a way that goes beyond their individual needs".
He added: "Companies have always been training people, but they have always been training them for their own hires...
"I think there is a role for companies to take some of the roles that universities, polytechnics and ITEs (Institutes of Technical Education) have been doing... to train and teach people beyond their own needs."
SAP, which spearheaded the initiative, said the programmes are targeted to meet the manpower and skills needs not only for itself, but also the broader industry.
The collaboration will offer career advisory and placement services in ICT-related jobs, with funding support by SSG.
As part of the collaboration, two types of work-learn programmes will be available.
The first, targeted at mid-career professionals, are professional conversion programmes combining placement and training which aim to help them gain new skills and enter the ICT sector.
The second type of programme, which is targeted at poly graduates, aims to kick-start their careers by facilitating employment opportunities within companies in the ICT industry.
On how it plans to curate its training curriculum, SAP said it will work with the polys to develop and deliver curriculum content, focusing on specialised ICT courses including predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.
SAP said it expects 1,000 individuals to benefit from the collaboration over the next three years.
SSG chief executive Ng Cher Pong said: "As technological disruptions are occurring at an unprecedented pace, SSG actively seeks out collaborations with industry partners to enable Singaporeans to keep pace with the evolving skills needs in areas such as data science, robotics and AI, in order to support industry transformation."