Singapore unveils IPTV training program

New initiative is aimed at grooming talent for Singapore's Internet Protocol TV industry, and includes 12-month training stint with Alcatel-Lucent.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

SINGAPORE--The Workforce Development Agency (WDA) has rolled out a training program aimed at grooming talent for the local IPTV (Internet protocol television) industry.

The government statutory board is partnering Alcatel-Lucent for the initiative, which will bring 20 candidates under a 12-month attachment program with the telecommunication equipment provider, the WDA executives said during a media lunch Wednesday.

Lynn Ng, director of community and professional services at the WDA, said the 20 trainees will be selected based on relevant experience in creative media such as design. She added that technical knowhow would not be considered. Ng did not provide further details on the selection criteria.

"We are keeping the intake small because it is a pilot program," she said.

In addition to the industry attachment, 136 classroom hours will be conducted by the Singapore Media Academy (SMA).

Ng said the WDA is looking to groom creative talent through the Professional Conversion Programme, to fulfil demand within the industry.

The Singapore government has been investing in IPTV. In 2006, Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB) set up an IPTV competency center--also together with Alcatel-Lucent--for the purpose of training IPTV personnel and incubation of new technology.

Oliver Foo, Alcatel-Lucent's managing director for Singapore and Brunei, said the initiative comes at a time where the subscriptions are projected to experience high growth rates over the next few years. Quoting Gartner statistics, Alcatel-Lucent said Asia-Pacific IPTV revenue is set to hit US$3.5 billion in 2012, with the number of subscriptions forecast to grow to 18.7 million by the year.

Foo added that the rollout of the planned National Broadband Network will also help increase accessibility to the public, through more affordable connectivity.

Elaborating on the vendor's contribution to the program, Foo said the Paris-headquartered company is looking for people to help consumers participate in new interactive media, for example, through responsive advertisements.

The WDA has dedicated S$200,000 (US$133,420) to fund this pilot program, subsidizing 90 percent of the S$7,400 (US$4,937) course fee for both company-sponsored and self-funded individuals. The latter will also receive a monthly stipend of S$1,000 (US$667) over the 12-month attachment.

After completing the training program, graduates will receive a Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) certification. In addition, the 20 candidates will be required to sign an undertaking that they will work in the industry for a year upon completion.

Foo said there may be opportunities for graduates to join R&D teams at the Alcatel-Lucent's IPTV development center in Singapore, but noted that this would not be provided as a guarantee for all the graduates.

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