Shopee parent firm Sea and IMDA open up 500 tech-related training slots

Internet company Sea and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will be launching a new programme to hire and train Singaporeans to take up tech-related jobs. The programme will benefit 500 Singaporeans, comprising 400 entry-level and 100 mid-career (those with more than three years of working experience) jobseekers. According to a press release, trainees who complete the programme will be equipped in the eCommerce and tech industry, and will be ready to take on roles such as data/business analysts, product managers, software engineers and user interface/user experience (UI/UX) designers. All suitable trainees that complete the training will also be employed by the business entities under Sea, which include Shopee Singapore and Garena Online.

As part of the programme, trainees will undergo six months of on-the-job or instructor-led structured training at Shopee, Sea's eCommerce arm, in areas such as product management, software engineering and user experience design. Through the course of training, they will acquire foundational and specialist skills, occupational knowledge, as well as get hands-on experience in project work. According to a press release, the programme will be the largest TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) Company-Led Training (CLT) programme by a Singapore-based company. This programme will also boost the trainees’ employment and employability outcomes as part of the broader SGUnited Jobs and Skills efforts. 

Forrest Li, chairman and group CEO, Sea, said: “As a global consumer internet company born and bred in Singapore, we are honoured to partner with IMDA on this important initiative. This programme not only creates 500 highly-skilled, technical roles at Sea and Shopee for Singaporeans at all stages of their careers, but also ensures that these talents can access training and development opportunities to build thriving long-term careers in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector."

Lim Teck Yong, head of regional operations and people team, Shopee, added that the partnership enables the company to continue investing ahead of demand and do our part to support our local communities during this period. “As we broaden and deepen our technology capabilities, we aspire to engage talent from diverse backgrounds, develop a strong pipeline of local tech talent and upskill our employees by equipping them with the relevant skills to succeed in today’s digital economy,” Lim said.

Shopee also recently held an online competition titled "Shopee Code League", which was a two-month long online coding challenge consisting of a series of competitions, online algorithm questions and online training workshops open to all students and professionals across the region. The competition aimed to train and develop local tech talent, as well as reach out to tech talents across countries such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

S Iswaran, minister for communications and information, said the partnership with Sea is "timely" as it will help 500 Singaporeans acquire the requisite skills to further their career in the ICT sector, which remains "a bright spot" in Singapore's economy. The partnership also signals the scale and ambition of Singapore's ongoing national effort to create jobs and training opportunities in its economic recovery from COVID-19.

Iswaran also urged more companies to come forward and join the government in such efforts. “In these challenging times, the government’s priority is to create good jobs for Singaporeans. In particular, we want to ensure that we have a strong pipeline of local tech talent equipped with the skills to secure new opportunities in the digital economy. Partnerships with the industry players is key," he added.

Earlier in September, IMDA also partnered with Amazon Singapore to offer cash payout for local retailers selling on Amazon.sg. Those who met eligibility criteria will receive a one-time SG$2,500 automatic cash payout as part of the Digital Resilience Bonus administered by IMDA. The bonus aims to uplift the digital capabilities of a broad base of enterprises and is started at food services and retail sectors which are more affected by safe distancing requirements in the reopening of the economy.

In another effort to promote digitisation of businesses, IMDA also launched a Tekka Online Market initiative in May to equip Singaporeans, including vulnerable seniors, with the digital know-how to shop for their groceries online without physically heading to the market. Done in collaboration with Max Kee of Lian Huat Seafood and creative agency BLKJ, the project was also designed to help wet market sellers who have been adversely affected by tightening restrictions to digitise their business. 

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