The Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) has signed six individual Memorandums of Understanding (MOU), and two Memorandums of Intent (MOI) with eight Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs)*. Through these MOUs, GovTech aims to provide training opportunities for over 300 students from the IHLs.
Students will be provided opportunities to work on technological solutions for problems faced by public agencies through internships, attachments, final-year projects, and tech-related competitions. Students will also be invited to seminars, workshops and courses organised by GovTech.
They will be exposed to emerging technologies, such as data analytics and internet-of-things and associated areas such as cybersecurity, which are going to be of increasing importance as we move forward. Already, there is a global and local shortage of talent in cybersecurity, while traditional jobs are threatened.
This initiative complements the recently released recommendations of the Committee on the Future Economy for young workers to attain deep skills and industry-relevant expertise in order to give them an edge in a technology driven future.
Disruptive technological change is altering the economy and the associated employment landscape at an accelerating pace. The Singapore government has been working pro-actively towards preparing its population for the jobs of the future. Steps range from SkillsFuture, a continuous education and training programme to encouraging school students to learn coding.
Engaging citizens in the manner of this initiative in solving problems faced by the public and public agencies can be the key to achieving the vision of a Smart Nation. Towards similar objectives, last week a competition called National Data Visualisation Video Challenge was launched by Govtech, wherein students will analyse datasets from Singapore’s open data portal, data.gov.sg & other publicly available data sources to create an impactful visualisation video
The press release quotes Ms Jacqueline Poh, Chief Executive, GovTech as saying, “We believe that an active partnership between public agencies, academia and commercial entities can help us create the best digital services for citizens and smart solutions for our city. This set of agreements will not only give us the opportunity to do that, but also allow us to help develop our next generation of tech talent, which is key to building Singapore into a Smart Nation.”
GovTech has an existing programme called InnoLeap, which was launched in August 2014. It provides platforms for IHLs, Research Institutes (RIs) and commercial entities to work together to come up with innovative technology-driven solutions for real-world problems faced by public agencies. The challenges are shared through thematic workshops, sharing sessions and one-to-one consultation clinics. Till date, InnoLeap has conducted 21 sessions, involving about 1,000 participants from over 70 organisations and close to 90 public agencies. These 8 IHLs will be involved in subsequent InnoLeap sessions.
*List of IHLs (in alphabetical order):
- Institute of Technical Education
- Nanyang Polytechnic
- Ngee Ann Polytechnic
- Republic Polytechnic
- Singapore Institute of Technology
- Singapore Polytechnic
- Singapore University of Technology and Design
- Temasek Polytechnic
Read the press release here.