Tech key to Singapore’s economy, tech career opportunities abound despite global job cuts: Josephine Teo

SINGAPORE – Technology will continue to undergird the growth of Singapore’s economy and create job opportunities despite the ongoing massive tech job cuts around the world, said Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo said on Thursday.

Singapore will also continue to invest in Singaporeans by reskilling and upskilling them for career opportunities in tech, she said, citing opportunities in the development of the green economy.

Other sectors ramping up their hiring of tech talent include banking, logistics and even accommodation.

Mrs Teo was allaying fears that tech opportunities may be dwindling following announcements last week that Microsoft and Amazon had started cutting a total of 28,000 jobs across the globe, citing slowing sales and possible recession.

Alphabet, Meta and Twitter have also announced layoffs, which may impact their Singapore presence.

“The question, of course, on everyone’s minds, is should we be worried about opportunities in tech? Is it foolhardy to continue encouraging our people to look at opportunities in tech?” she said at the launch of Step IT Up, a tech talent conversion programme.

“Right-sizing the workforce for these tech companies is a painful exercise, particularly for the affected individuals and their families. But without a more disciplined approach to headcount growth, tech companies risked becoming more bloated and less agile,” she said.

As part of the Step IT Up programme, some 400 people without coding experience will be trained to become software developers over the next two years.

Organised by tech consultancy firm Temus and supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Step IT Up programme is exclusively meant for those without a background in tech, who will be trained specifically for tech jobs secured for them.

Each cohort will undergo a roughly four-month intensive training phase that is tailored specifically for jobs that trainees have been placed in, exposing them to the workplace and platforms used.

The first batch of 22 graduates, who started in late 2022 and will join Temus as full-time employees in March, were coached to code using Microsoft’s .Net framework to prepare them to work with public and private sector clients, said a Temus spokesman on Thursday.

Programme graduates at will eventually work at Temus or matched with its partners, or other opportunities.

Most in the first batch are mid-career switchers, who come from unrelated sectors like education, healthcare and the service industry, said Temus chief executive Yeoh Keat Chuan on Thursday, when the programme was launched at the Temus office in Pasir Panjang.

He added that at least 800 applicants had signed up in last year’s recruitment drive.

With plans to increase Temus’ workforce by five times to 1,000 by 2025, Mr Yeoh said that training workers without a tech background is crucial in today’s market, where there is a limited pool of tech talent.


Business Asia
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