SINGAPORE - Twelve companies have come on board to train students and graduates from Singapore's polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education through a new initiative under the TechSkills Accelerator scheme.
The TechSkills Accelerator for ITE and Polytechnics (TIP) Alliance, which comprises companies such as Google, Singtel and DBS, aims to fill 1,000 job roles over the next three years.
Students and graduates will receive support in kick-starting their careers in the tech sector, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday.
"ITE and polytechnic graduates are an important source of talent for our tech sector," he said, noting that they account for more than half of graduates from tech courses every year.
"I also hope that this initiative will contribute to the shift from qualification-based to skills-based hiring practices, giving capable job seekers equal opportunity to succeed, regardless of their starting point or educational background," said Mr Heng in his speech at the 40th anniversary celebrations of SGTech.
SGTech is an association that represents more than 1,000 technology companies here.
The TIP Alliance, which the Infocomm Media Development Authority was involved in setting up, was first mentioned during this year's ministerial budget debates in Parliament in March.
It is part of the TechSkills Accelerator scheme, which aims to build and develop a skilled information and communications technology (ICT) workforce for Singapore.
Under the TIP Alliance, participating companies will provide internships and apprenticeships to students and graduates to train them in in-demand skills.
Graduates can also continue to take up further ICT qualifications, such as industry-recognised certifications, while working.
Noting the shortage of tech talent here and worldwide, Mr Heng said: "To meet our human capital needs, it is critical that companies grow the pie."
He said the tech sector will thrive as a whole if industry players set common standards and skill requirements, with larger firms training more workers than they require.
Mr Heng also noted that the TechSkills Accelerator scheme, which started in 2016, has placed and trained more than 12,000 individuals in tech jobs and upskilled more than 160,000 through tech courses.
But talent will continue to be the greatest limiting factor to the ambitions of companies here, and more needs to be done, he said.
The minister urged SGTech members to keep abreast of the latest tech developments - such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing - and their application to a range of industries.
"We must update our skills map, and prepare our people well for new, potentially more demanding needs across these emerging areas," he said.
On Thursday, Mr Heng also announced the launch of TransformLife.sg, an interactive multimedia publication on the history of Singapore's tech sector.
An initiative to bring together leaders of the various SGTech committees was also launched at Thursday's event. These members will be involved in the association's activities, including its key events, and mentorship programmes.
Thursday's event, held at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore hotel, was attended by about 1,000 representatives from SGTech's member companies.