Approximately 3,000 Singaporean job-seekers will benefit from a new jobs and skills training initiative launched by tech giant Google in conjunction with government agencies Economic Development Board, Infocomm Media Development Authority and SkillsFuture Singapore.

The initiative, currently called Skills Ignition SG, covers two programmes targeting entry-level and mid-career workers. It seeks to prepare participants for jobs in fields related to digital marketing and cloud technology.

One of these programmes will put focus on providing on-the-job training opportunities for up to 600 applicants. Participants will be required to take part in up to three months of online vocational training before moving on to six months of hands-on work experience with employers.

Google itself will be offering 100 such place-and-train positions, while other participants will be working at other companies that are part of the initiative. These include beauty retailer Sephora, travel agency Trip.com, and fintech firm FNZ among others.

Training programme fees will be entirely paid for and participants will receive a monthly salary while undergoing the programme.

Though there is no guarantee of employment after the end of the nine-month programme from the companies where participants undergo training and work experience, trainees will receive certifications that are expected to boost their future employability.

At the same time, up to 2,400 mid-career professionals will be able to make use of full time training courses in digital marketing and clout technology, which will mainly put focus on upgrading skills.

Over the course of six months, participants will learn industry-relevant skills to boost employability in the information and technology communications sector. During the training, each participant will also receive a monthly training allowance of S$1,500.

These courses will be the first to be rolled out under SSG’s SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways – Enterprise-based Training Programme, in support of the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package.

Participants can use their SkillsFuture credits to pay the S$500 programme fees, with the remaining fees subsidised by SSG.

As part of the initiative, Google itself has developed an online curriculum that includes an informative mix of online instructor-led training and virtual study, as well as online group and individual project work.

Google Singapore country director Ben King said the vocational training programme will offer participants the chance to learn and equip themselves with skills that will allow them to work for companies in Singapore’s broader tech ecosystem, enhancing the talent available to firms here. This will serve as a huge boon as Singaporean businesses are not only suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also a severe lack of tech talent.

“We remain focused on empowering Singaporeans today for tomorrow, as we create good training opportunities and vital industry experience for them,” he said.

Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran said: “In this uncertain environment, the Government’s overriding economic priority is to create jobs and opportunities for our people and I am encouraged that companies such as Google are also stepping up to join us in this critical national effort.”

Applications for the programmes under the Skills Ignition SG initiative are open till 31 August.

In a show of support to the Singapore community, Google has returned its Jobs Support Scheme wage subsidies and has declared that they will be declining any future payouts by the government in the hopes that said money could be used to help the city state’s economy recover.

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