16,000 new jobs in infocomm sector by 2020
Those keen on working in the infocomm media (ICM) industry can look forward to more opportunities as a new industry road map is set to create 16,000 jobs by 2020.
Out of these, 13,000 will be for professional, managerial, executive and technicians in four areas: cyber security, Internet of Things, immersive media, and artificial intelligence (AI) and data science.
Announcing these figures at the launch of the ICM Industry Transformation Map yesterday, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said the ICM's value-add is expected to grow at 6 per cent a year. This is almost twice as fast as the overall economy, with the sector having 210,000 workers by 2020.
Dr Yaacob, who was officiating the Infocomm Media Development Authority's (IMDA) first anniversary celebrations, said: "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."
But he cautioned the ICM sector's growth will not be an "easy task".
IMDA said a portion of these jobs will come from the AI field, a growth area that Singapore has begun investing in.
A programme under the National Research Foundation called AI Singapore was set up in May, with $150 million in funding to increase AI adoption, research and innovation.
IMDA will launch an AI apprenticeship programme to provide on-the-job or course training for the first batch of 200 AI professionals in the next three years.
There are also plans to create an AI library containing the national speech collection in English, including transcriptions of words spoken in Singaporean accents, to speed up the development of speech-enabled applications for local use.
In his speech, Dr Yaacob highlighted two new AI companies, US-based DataRobot and locally based Taiger, which have been approved under the Accreditation@SG Digital programme, formerly known as Accreditation@IMDA.
The two join an existing pool of six accredited AI companies.
"At first glance, AI may sound high-brow or obscure to most companies.
"This is not the case," Dr Yaacob said.
"AI is already present in our daily lives, and companies both big and small can leverage existing AI solutions to improve their business offerings."
The ICM road map is part of the $4.5 billion Industry Transformation Programme overseen by the Future Economy Council, which covers 23 industries.