Microsoft partners with Singapore Government to boost employment and upskilling

Microsoft and non-profit organisation Generation are partnering with Government agencies in Singapore to upskill and open up tech jobs for Singaporeans.

Named #GetReadySG, this latest job upskilling initiative is launched as part of the Government’s SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package.

Mainly aimed at fresh graduates and mid-career Singaporeans, it will train and provide up to 1,000 in-demand tech jobs to support the local tech industry.

Microsoft and Generation will work with Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), its sister organisation Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) on this initiative.

Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive of IMDA, highlighted that #GetReadySG will impart hard skills such as cloud architecture and data analytics engineering, as well as important soft skills like cross-cultural teamwork and communication.

“This will enable Singaporeans to better seize the exciting opportunities across our growing digital economy,” he said.

Generation will be in charge of devising the course structure for the programs, whereas Microsoft will make use of its wide network of partners and help candidates to secure employment after training.

Mr. Prateek Hegde, CEO of Generation Singapore and COO of Generation APAC, pointed out that while his organisation’s main commitment is to serve jobseekers in need, Generation recognises that by having access to a highly skilled talent pool, the tech industry as a whole benefits.

“We continue to hear from companies that it is difficult to find the right tech talent, while jobseekers continue to report on barriers to employment – such as lack of specific domain skills and relevant certifications. This programme is designed to effectively bridge this gap and help more Singaporeans who require such support to launch their careers in tech-enabled roles,” added Mr. Hegde.

Singapore’s future-ready preparations

Singapore has been at the forefront of introducing new tech programs on the policy level to supercharge its status as Asia’s post pandemic digital hub. In November, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the launch of Tech.Pass, a new visa that allows professionals from all around the world to come to Singapore and grow their tech business.

#GetReadySG will have two streams for eligible candidates. The first stream, a hire and train program offered by SSG, will see up to 300 Singaporeans being selected and offered paid training for nine months. They will receive training for in-demand tech skills, including full stack development, data engineering and analysis, cloud support, and DevOps practitioning.

The second stream, the mid-career pathways program, will allow mid-career job seekers to work under a structured, full-time apprenticeship with a Microsoft partner to learn the necessary tech skills. Up to 700 professionals will be selected, and a monthly allowance of $1,500 will be given. This stream is offered by Microsoft, Generation, SSG, and Temasek Polytechnic.

“What makes #GetReadySG different from other skilling programmes is that it brings together the best of what Microsoft, IMDA, SSG, DISG and Generation have to offer in terms of resources, expertise and technical knowledge,” said Mr. Kevin Wo, Managing Director of Microsoft Singapore.

“COVID-19 has accelerated the need for these upskilling efforts – hence it is more important than ever that we embark on this national skills initiative,” he continued.

On top of that, Microsoft will also be partnering with SSG for the latter’s Queen Bee program, an initiative that matches industry leaders with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore to grow the local business ecosystem.

Mr Ong Tze Ch’in, Chief Executive of SSG, expressed delight at Microsoft’s active involvement in Singapore’s SME transformation scene.

“This [partnership] will help SMEs strengthen their capabilities and to help drive up employer participation in the development of their workforce,” he noted.

Standard Chartered Bank will also be a part of the #GetReadySG initiative to nurture a pipeline of homegrown ‘techno-bankers’ for the future.

“This is very much aligned to our commitment as a Significantly Rooted Foreign Bank in Singapore to invest for growth, continuously reskill our workforce and build a strong Singapore Core to ensure future competitiveness,” said Charlotte Thng, the Head of HR for Singapore, Australia and ASA Cluster Markets at Standard Chartered Bank.

Registration for the first stream opens in January 2021, and registration for the second stream opens in mid-December 2020.