16,000 new jobs by 2020 in Singapore’s Infocomm sector

If you are seeking a job in Singapore’s infocomm media sector, take heart as there will be more opportunities available with the unveiling of a new industry road map that is set to create 16,000 jobs by 2020. The ICM road map is part of the $4.5 billion Industry Transformation Programme overseen by the Future Economy Council, which covers 23 industries.

Within these jobs, 13,000 will be set aside for professional, managerial, executive and technicians in four areas, namely cyber security, Internet of Things, immersive media, and artificial intelligence (AI) and data science.

This was announced by Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information at the launch of the ICM Industry Transformation Map on 3rd November. He also added that the ICM’s value-add is expected to increase at 6 per cent a year, almost twice as fast as the overall economy, with the sector to have 210,000 workers by 2020.

In comments made to media on site, he also expected this move to create value.

“This presents immense opportunities for both companies and workers in the ICM sector, and stands in stark contrast to the larger backdrop of the global slowdown. However, this will not be without challenges,” Dr Yaacob noted.

According to IMDA, a significant segment of these jobs will be from AI, an area that Singapore has been developing under the National Research Foundation through a programme called AI Singapore, which was set up in May this year, with $150 million in funding to increase AI adoption, research and innovation. In addition, IMDA will set up an AI apprenticeship programme to provide on-the-job or course training for the first batch of 200 AI professionals over the next three years.

Also in the works is an AI library containing the national speech collection in English, including transcriptions of words spoken in Singaporean accents, to hasten the development of speech-enabled applications for local usage.

In his speech, Dr Yaacob talked about two new AI companies, US-based DataRobot and locally based Taiger, both of which have been allowed to operate under the Accreditation@SG Digital programme, formerly known as Accreditation@IMDA. With their entry, there are now eight accredited AI companies in Singapore.

Dr Yaacob believes that AI is here to stay, although most companies may not be used to it or see it as relevant.  He explains that is not the case.

“AI is already present in our daily lives, and companies both big and small can leverage existing AI solutions to improve their business offerings.”

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