'Tech-lite' roles in ICT sector also need to be filled: Josephine Teo

Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo greeting Associate Professor Keith Carter of NUS' School of Computing at the SkillsFuture Month X Smart Nation roadshow. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - The information and communications technology (ICT) sector is also looking to fill "tech-lite" roles, such as in digital marketing.

Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo said on Saturday (July 31) that aside from jobs that require people with tech skills, the sector also wants to tap the experience and knowledge of specific industries and sectors.

"Our whole strategy is built around responding to the different levels of digital readiness of our citizens and enabling them to take advantage of these opportunities at whatever skill level they are at, at the present moment," said Mrs Teo, who is also Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity.

She was speaking after a visit to the SkillsFuture Month X Smart Nation roadshow at Our Tampines Hub.

The sector last year registered a strong growth in employment even amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

As at February this year, more than 13,600 job seekers were placed into ICT jobs, traineeships and attachments under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package. There remains over 18,000 of such opportunities on offer.

Mrs Teo said aside from working with partners to create courses, and with companies to make available training and attachment opportunities, events such as the roadshow can help kick-start careers in the sector.

"At whatever level of readiness, there is someone who is here that is prepared to walk the journey with them, to give them the guidance."

"Quite often, after they have passed the initial barrier, if they get enrolled in a course for example, they will realise that they have many peers who are learning like them, and the peers give each other quite a lot of confidence.

"So, we like to be able to create more of such opportunities," she added.

The roadshow is co-organised by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office and SkillsFuture Singapore, and is part of SkillsFuture Month.

It will be held till Aug 1, from 11am to 8pm, at Our Tampines Hub, Festive Walk East. The roadshow will then move to Toa Payoh HDB Hub Atrium from Aug 6 to Aug 8, running from 11am and 8pm.

Citizens can learn about digital skills that are in demand, make personalised training plans with the skills ambassadors, sign up for 19 free webinars offered by training providers and inquire about job and training opportunities.

Associate Professor Keith Carter, from the National University of Singapore's School of Computing, said the common misconception is that it is hard to get into the technology sector.

People who are interested to get into the sector should think about how their background can help them to succeed in this sector.

"We need everyone," he added.

Mr Keith Lee, senior commercial account manager at software company VMware, took a leap of faith when he joined the IT sector in 2012 after attending an IT course in 2010 that focused on e-commerce.

Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo speaking to Mr Keith Lee, senior commercial account manager at software company VMware. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The 34-year-old was at that point looking to expand his retail shoe business. Mr Lee and his partner have since sold the business.

He said: "I realised that learning IT, like any other role or topic subject, is pretty much down to time and effort."

More information on the roadshow is available on the MySkillsFuture app and at this website.

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