SINGAPORE - Singapore-based tech firm Sea Limited, the parent company of e-commerce platform Shopee, will hire and train some 500 Singaporeans over the next two years under a new collaboration with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
Successful applicants will be trained in areas such as coding and data analytics through courses and on-the-job exposure, and will comprise 400 entry-level job seekers and 100 mid-career hires with more than three years' experience.
Sea chairman and group chief executive officer Forrest Li and IMDA chief executive Lew Chuen Hong signed a memorandum of intent on Friday (Oct 2) for the company-led training initiative, which will be the largest under IMDA's TechSkills Accelerator programme.
Sea said all suitable trainees that complete the six-month training will be employed in technical roles across its various business entities such as Shopee and Garena, the company's gaming arm.
The available roles include those for software engineers, business analysts and user experience designers. Trainees will also be paid a monthly salary while undergoing training, and be guided by a mentor within the same department.
"In terms of working with the industry to create job and training opportunities, our focus has really been about how we can help Singaporeans participate in these opportunities and derive the full benefits," said Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran on Friday at the Shopee Building in Science Park.
He added that employers in the tech sector are "very willing" to partner with the Government in this effort, but their main challenge is finding Singaporeans who have the requisite skills or who are willing to commit to learning.
This is where initiatives like Sea's company-led training come in, to develop the Singaporean core in a tech sector that is growing and growing fast, Mr Iswaran said.
Shopee's regional head of operations and head of people team Lim Teck Yong said the most important quality the company is looking for in potential hires is the passion and willingness to learn.
This can be demonstrated by having previously taken up courses in the relevant technical fields, for example, or by displaying a keen interest and awareness in Shopee's operations and how it might be improved, Mr Lim said.
Business analyst Estelle Sim, 29, joined Shopee last December after four years in the architecture field. She spent the six-month company-led training period completing two courses in data analytics and Python coding.
"The course on data analytics taught me to develop hypothesis-driven questions when analysing data," said Ms Sim.
"I also learnt how to leverage data analytics to make decisions and recommendations, both of which are essential to my role as a business analyst."
Shopee was among the firms that began offering training courses in August for mid-career job seekers, as part of the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme.
The programme aims provide 14,500 traineeships and training programmes for job seekers to gain industry-relevant work experience while awaiting permanent employment.