The newly launched Professional Services Industry Transformation Map (ITM) will grow the sector by 4.6% from 2015, value-add S$31 billion, and generate over 15,000 professional, managers, executives and technicians (PMET) jobs (5,500 new jobs per year) by 2020.
The ITM was launched by Indranee Rajah, senior minister of state, Ministry of Law & Ministry of Finance, and co-chair for the Future Economy Council (FEC) Modern Services Sub-Committee, at the opening of Dentsu Aegis Network’s Asia Pacific Headquarters in Singapore on Wednesday (24 Jan).
Key initiatives featured in the ITM aim to drive innovation in the industry and to equip the local workforce with specialised skillsets in high-growth areas such as data science, analytics and artificial intelligence.
Rajah said: "The ITM identifies a number of high-growth areas for key sub-sectors. It also sets out the strategies through which we are going to transform. First, by building innovation capabilities for high-growth areas. Second, by equipping our workforce with the specialised skillsets to take on the new jobs."
Building innovation capabilities for high-growth areas
Innovation in the professional services industry involves delivering services and solutions through different business models to be more effective and cost-efficient, and continual investment into technology. It is also about continuously building differentiated competencies.
Understanding that collaboration will drive and amplify innovation, the government will play an active role in facilitating collaborations through convening innovation platforms, bringing together companies, start-ups and research institutes to work on common challenges and co-create solutions.
These include setting up living labs where companies can collaborate to test-bed and commercialise solutions in a live environment such as the HDB’s Smart Urban Habitat Masterplan (SUHMP).
Another innovation platform that will be created is a data-sharing consortium which will see firms such as Google, Grab and Adobe collaborating to help businesses with smarter data use to drive marketing innovation.
Equipping the local workforce with specialised skillsets
With the industry's high growth areas constantly adding new job roles, comprehensive support for existing professionals and new entrants will be provided through the ITM.
The government will work with firms and industry players to re-design jobs, and actively upskill and reskill their workforce for high-growth areas.
For example, under the Adapt and Grow initiative, Workforce Singapore (WSG) has launched more than 10 Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) where PMETs are trained to take on roles ranging from global infrastructure projects, digital advertising to HR management. Additionally, four new PCPs for programmatic advertising, internal audit, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI), and building information modelling are under development.
Another initiative is the development of skills frameworks and related accreditations to support professionals in better understanding the range of career pathways, skills requirements and available training programmes.
At the same time, Institutes of Higher Learning are strengthening work-learn collaborations with firms in the industry to ensure greater industry relevance of training programmes. In line with that, SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programmes (ELPs) have been launched for accountancy, visual communications, UX design and management, and branding and digital marketing. Beyond the ELPs, advertising agencies are also working with Institutes of Higher Learning to groom next-generation talent.
Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC, said, "The job landscape is evolving rapidly with technology and new business models, and it is critical that our workforce remains agile and able to adapt to these changes. We will work with employers to identify emerging industry trends and prepare our working people to access these new opportunities."
To further enable growth of the sector, initiatives such as the Tech Start for Law programme will be put in place to enhance Singapore’s global market position and grow exports of services to regional and global markets.
At the same time, SPRING Singapore (SPRING) and IE Singapore, together with the rest of the Government, will strengthen efforts to work with businesses with the ambition and ability to scale. Firms are also encouraged to grow access to international markets, by forging strategic partnerships and networks with other professional services firms overseas.
In addition, more market- and sector-specific lead generation and profiling platforms will be developed, such as the annual Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable to bring together infrastructure players in the region to discuss project opportunities.
Photo / 123RF