SINGAPORE - Singaporeans can now learn and receive certification from Microsoft under the SkillsFuture programme (SSG), as part of a new collaboration between the tech giant and SSG.
They can also learn from a new digital defence component under the SkillsFuture Digital Workplace programme which covers cybersecurity and teaches participants how to identify and guard against fake news.
These new initiatives are aimed at helping Singaporeans and enterprises be better prepared for the digital economy.
They were announced on Saturday (Aug 3) by Senior Minister of State for Transport as well as Communications and Information, Dr Janil Puthucheary, at the inaugural SkillsFuture Festival X Smart Nation event.
Dr Janil said that said that Singapore's transformation to a Smart Nation had to be done in a way that includes every Singaporean, by bringing together government agencies, businesses, people and opportunities.
He said: "(This) requires us to take this extra series of steps and not just leave it to market, leave it to time and leave it to hope that everything will be all right. It will for most people, but we have to make this extra effort to make sure it is so for everybody."
At the event, SSG and Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and launched the Tech Intensity Training Roadmap. The three-year plan will help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accelerate their adoption of technology, and individuals to build their digital capabilities.
This collaboration, which aims to benefit 5,000 individuals and 100 SMEs, hasfour main components.
Microsoft will work with institutes of higher learning to develop industry-relevant curriculum for related SkillsFuture programmes, such as the Work-Study programmes. This will help build a talent pipeline for jobs of the future and cater to the needs of the wider industry.
The company will also work with SSG to co-develop a training blueprint, which will help SMEs build a strong workplace learning culture. This is aimed at accelerating technology and skills adoption for workplace transformation, and enhancing employee engagement and retention.
Microsoft will provide a curated list of free online Microsoft courses on SSG's MySkillsFuture portal, which will cover topics such as data analytics and artificial intelligence.
Participants who successfully complete selected programmes will receive certification from Microsoft.
SSG will also incorporate the materials provided by Microsoft on subjects such as cyber-security, internet of things and artificial intelligence into the curriculum for its SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace programme.
In addition, Microsoft's PowerApps Platform will be incorporated into SkillsFuture initiatives, including the SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace. This will enable Singaporeans to learn how to build and customise business applications according to their business needs.
Microsoft Singapore managing director Kevin Wo said: "In a world where every company is going digital, organisations of all sizes need to embrace tech intensity to thrive and maximise their impact...we want Singapore's companies and workforce to unlock the power of technology across everything they do."
The SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace curriculum will be further enhanced with a new digital defence component.
Supported by the National Library Board, Nexus and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, the enhanced curriculum aims to train participants to identify and guard against fake news, and be better informed about cybersecurity.
Dr Janil said that the Government has been trying to get people to think of digital issues as matters of national importance.
"Digital security is a pillar of that, and it is an opportunity for people to think of these things on a national basis. What does this mean not just for my education as a young person, for my first job as a young adult... but for our whole country, and our whole society."
SSG's chief executive Ng Cher Pong said: "It is critical for our workforce and companies to be adequately equipped with the skills to seize the new opportunities brought about by digital transformation."