Business

New road map to generate 5,500 new jobs yearly for PMETs till 2020

Sector road map to fuel job creation till 2020 unveiled

A new road map to help boost the professional services sector aims to generate 5,500 new jobs for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) every year till 2020.

The sector's Industry Transformation Map (ITM) will also equip workers with skills in high-growth areas such as data science, analytics and artificial intelligence.

The target is for professional services to grow 4.6 per cent every year to reach a value-add of $31 billion by 2020, said Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah at the opening of media and digital marketing communications group Dentsu Aegis Network's Asia-Pacific headquarters yesterday.

Professional services include architecture and engineering services, consulting, accounting, legal and advertising.

Companies in these industries employed more than 230,000 people in 2016 and contributed $25 billion, or 6.5 per cent, of Singapore's gross domestic product that year.

The ITM will include initiatives to help home-grown companies expand overseas, facilitate collaboration among companies, as well as help companies and workers build key digital capabilities.

The Government will play a "catalytic role" by working with the industry to develop innovation platforms, Ms Indranee said. This includes setting up a data-sharing consortium, which involves companies such as Google, Grab and Adobe helping companies use data to drive marketing innovation.

NEW PROGRAMMES

Four new Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs), which help PMETs find jobs in growth sectors, will also be rolled out this year. They will train people for roles in programmatic advertising, internal audit, user experience/user interface design and building information modelling.

National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general Patrick Tay said the professional services sector has not been spared the impact of disruption: "These are exciting times for the sector with many new growth areas... but there are also jobs at risk."

Technology is changing how professional services companies work with clients, and the sector has to transform to take advantage of this, Ms Indranee said.

Some companies are already jumping on the bandwagon.

Dentus Aegis' new Asia-Pacific 100,000 sq ft headquarters at Guoco Tower, for instance, hosts its Global Data Innovation Centre, which will serve as its global hub for data scientists and tech talent.

Local accounting firm Precursor Group set up its own team to develop a cloud-based platform with apps for accounting and audit functions.

When the apps go live, employees can work from home or clients' offices, said its managing director Tan Khoon Guan.

The professional services ITM is the 18th of 23 industry road maps earmarked by the Government.

Employment