Digital ambassadors will earn $1,800 to $2,100, with one-year temporary contract

The digital ambassadors will start their efforts by covering all 112 hawker centres and wet markets this month. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The 1,000 digital ambassadors that will be hired this month to help stallholders and seniors learn digital skills will be paid between $1,800 and $2,100, according to multiple job listings for the role seen by ST.

These ambassadors, who will come under the new SG Digital Office (SDO) office that was announced on Sunday, will be hired under a one-year temporary contract, as indicated on the Government's Careers @ Gov website.

The SDO's aim will be to intensify outreach efforts to the hardest-to-reach segments of society and encourage them to adopt digital tools and learn digital skills. Its digital ambassadors will start their efforts by covering all 112 hawker centres and wet markets this month to encourage stallholders to adopt e-payment and avoid having to handle cash.

By March next year, they should have reached out to 100,000 seniors, teaching them basic digital skills like how to buy things online and how to use smartphone apps to communicate with their friends and family.

On Sunday (May 31), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Ministry of Communications and Information said that these digital ambassadors will consist of a mix of volunteers as well as staff who will be hired for this role.

In response to a question on the proportion of volunteers and staff for these digital ambassadors, Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran said on Sunday that the Government intends to have 1,000 people recruited for this role, but doing so will take time.

"We intend to have 1,000 employees recruited for this purpose. But it takes time to ramp up and you will need therefore a combination of both, and volunteers will always be a very important part of this effort, even after you have them."

IMDA and MCI said SDO will prioritise the recruitment of these ambassadors from among graduating cohorts of institutes of higher learning in Singapore, who have been reported to be having trouble finding jobs in the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

But Mr Iswaran said that a variety of people will be needed for this role.

"It is going to be a spectrum of people - it will be young people like, for example, graduates from ITE or polytechnic or university, who can bring one perspective and an important set of skills to the table," he said on Sunday.

"We will also need people who are in mid-career type of age range, or maybe even older, because they will have both the experience of having had this journey, and perhaps a different way of communicating with this target segment."

Both the Careers @ Gov website as well as job listings for the role, posted by recruitment agencies like Kelly Services and Certis Human Resource Services, do not specify what academic qualifications are required for the job.

Instead, they state that among other things, these ambassadors should be passionate about contributing to and supporting Singaporeans, have good interpersonal and communication skills and be "patient" in guiding the seniors and hawkers.

Mr Iswaran touched on this too, and said that those who apply for the role will need to have empathy to perform well in the job.

"The key requirement across all of them is going to be the ability to empathise and relate to the context and needs of the specific customers they are dealing with on the ground," he said.

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