IBM launches tertiary skills programme in Singapore

The programme hopes to plug the skills shortage by providing tertiary students with exposure to the technology sector.

IBM is partnering with six tertiary institutes in Singapore to launch a technical skills programme for local students.

Called P-TECH School Model (Pathways in Technology Early College High-Schools), the programme provides students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) early exposure to jobs in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and other Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

They will be able to pick up the necessary skills for competitive “new collar” careers – roles in some of the technology industry's fastest-growing fields, from cybersecurity and cloud computing to cognitive business and digital design.

Students will be supported by IBM and the participating institutions as they progress from ITE to pursue their Polytechnic Diplomas or ITE Work-Learn Technical Diplomas (WLTDs) in the ICT / STEM sectors.

IBM will also work with ITE to launch at least one WLTD in the ICT sector, with the involvement of other companies. Participants will gain experiences that include mentorship and internships, while also being given “first in line” job opportunities.

Participating schools are namely the ITE, Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, and Temasek Polytechnic.

By building an ecosystem of skilled talent, IBM hopes it will help tackle future workforce challenges in Singapore.

Harriet Green, CEO and Chairman of IBM Asia Pacific, said P-TECH is a “direct response” to the global skills crisis, while also being aligned with the Singapore government’s call for a shift in the emphasis on paper qualifications, towards recognising skills.

“The urgent need for skilled STEM talent is a global phenomenon and one that IBM has been keenly aware of,” said Green.

“Together with the growing P-TECH ecosystem, we will help students better understand the connection between their coursework, field experiences, and the "real world" expectations of the workplace.” 

Singapore is the first Southeast Asian country to launch P-TECH, and the fifth globally, after successful implementations in the US, Morocco, Australia, and Taiwan. 

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