A strong core of Singaporean talent is needed to help drive local companies' expansion plans abroad, but at the same time many companies are finding it increasingly difficult to attract good talent, especially for their overseas operations.
It is therefore important for businesses to start grooming young local talent for overseas postings early, said Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr S Iswaran.
"As companies make inroads into new territories and their business needs become more sophisticated, developing a pipeline of local talent to take on regional responsibilities becomes critical," he said in a speech at an IE Singapore scholarship ceremony on Thursday.
"According to a recent survey by IE Singapore, Singapore companies regard the availability of quality manpower as a key success factor for their overseas investments."
To help alleviate this problem, IE Singapore launched a new Young Talent Programme earlier this year that would award scholarships to undergraduates selected by certain companies to join their team and be groomed for international roles.
Twelve undergraduates have made the cut and were awarded the scholarships on Thursday. Upon graduation they will each join one of eight firms, including Keppel T&T, Ascott, Eu Yan Sang and Charles & Keith.
Four other undergraduates received the IE Singapore scholarship and will join the trade promotion agency after graduation.