Singapore Sources IT Talent from Indian Trainer

The Singapore government has signed a deal with Indian education and training company NIIT Ltd to source IT talent from around Asia to work in the city-state, according to the government's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).

In the first phase of the initiative, NIIT will bring in 1,000 qualified IT staff trained at its schools in India, China, Indonesia and Malaysia for employment in Singapore within the next year, IDA said in a statement Friday.

The growth in staff requirements for information and communications technology (ICT) in Singapore will average 10 percent per year over the next two years, and this translates to a need for an extra 10,000 ICT staff every year, according to IDA.

By 2010, a total of 250,000 ICT personnel will be needed, equivalent to almost 8 percent of the country's 3.2 million population.

In particular, Singapore is looking for staff to work in electronic commerce, interactive broadband multimedia, ICT convergence and knowledge management, IDA said.

India, with its large pool of skilled IT personnel, will be one of the key countries from where Singapore will attract IT staff, according to Kaizad Heerjee, IDA's assistant chief executive for online development.

As a multicultural nation in southeast Asia, Singapore has a large number of ethnic Indian citizens and as such can offer a familiar cultural environment, he said.

Earlier this month, IDA Chief Executive Officer Yong Ying-I said that Singapore was engaged in a global war for IT talent, the outcome of which could determine the future competitiveness of the country.

"This is going to be the core of Singapore's effectiveness, and if we don't win in this area, we may not win in any other area," she said at that time.

IDA is finalizing other initiatives to encourage foreign IT talent to work in Singapore, IDA said in its statement.

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