25% of mid-career professionals in digital skills programme secure jobs before completing it

The Rapid and Immersive Skill Enhancement programme is part of the company training segment of the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways initiative.
The Rapid and Immersive Skill Enhancement programme is part of the company training segment of the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways initiative.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - A six-month programme to help mid-career professionals with no digital-related background take up business technology roles has seen an average of one in four participants securing jobs before completing the course.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which runs the programme, said on Friday (Oct 22) that around 1,500 participants have enrolled in it since its launch in February, and seven out of nine batches will have graduated by the end of this month.

The Rapid and Immersive Skill Enhancement (Rise) programme is part of the company training segment of the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways initiative rolled out by the Government last year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic's impact on the economy and jobs.

It aims to teach participants about the fundamentals of technology and help them pick up essential digital skills.

BCG said that half of the participants in the first batch of Rise managed to find jobs within two months of their graduation in August.

The rates for the subsequent batches have not been finalised yet.

Rise graduates have secured roles in companies including Singapore Airlines, SaladStop and Grab, said BCG.

Their contributions span a range of digital, data and technology roles, including digital strategist, change management manager, business data analyst, technology consultant and social media marketing specialist.

Under the programme, participants get to take part in a digital hackathon where they apply their skills to tackle real-life company problems, and later get to propose full-fledged digital solutions to organisations.

They also set career goals, build confidence for interviews and have better prospects when it comes to applying for jobs through career fair and job matching.

Participants can also engage with companies through industry masterclasses and networking, as they try to secure a job placement.

On Friday, BCG held a virtual career fair for Rise participants. More than 30 companies offering over 200 job roles attended it.

Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo, who was a guest of honour at the event, said in a speech that the digital economy has created many jobs and will continue to do so in the coming years.

But some mid-career executives may find it hard to get connected to opportunities, and programmes such as Rise serve as "a useful bridge", she said.

"Before joining the programme, some participants heard that tech skills are too challenging, almost impossible for them to pick up. But I'm heartened that you were not daunted," she told the Rise participants.

"Tech changes so quickly that one must really be a lifelong learner to stay relevant, even as you graduate from Rise," she added, urging them to continue to upskill by learning from one another and taking up new courses.

Mr Mohandass Kalaichelvan, chief executive and founder of payables software company Spenmo, which participated in the career fair, said: "Hiring suitable candidates for technology start-ups is a common challenge as the nature of our business is fast-paced and demands deep skill sets and, more importantly, an agile mindset."

Experienced industry professionals with in-demand data and digital skills can be valuable assets for high growth start-ups, he noted.

Ms Jun Shin Jung, a Rise participant, started a new job as a consultant at Adaptovate, a management consulting firm specialising in agile transformations, one month after graduating from the programme.

Ms Jun, who worked in the real estate sector previously, said: "I observed in recent years that changes are happening faster than before and organisations, regardless of size or industry, struggle to adapt at times... Today, I'm very fortunate to be using my new-found agile skills to help organisations transform at scale."