Singaporeans have built one of the most competitive economies in the world. But right now, the country’s workers are facing a challenging outlook. There are fewer jobs available, while the jobs that are available require different skills. COVID-19 means more people are working from home, more roles are reliant on technology, and more small businesses are adopting digital tools—trends that we know will continue beyond the pandemic.
Today, in partnership with several government agencies, we’re launching Skills Ignition SG: a Grow with Google program that will help 3,000 Singaporeans and permanent residents get the skills they need for changing technology and a shifting job market.
Learning skills, building experience
Skills Ignition SG has two elements. One is a six-month vocational course for mid-career job seekers, designed to teach them skills in digital marketing and cloud technology and give them the chance to earn professional certificates recognised around the world.
The second element is a ‘place and train’ program, where participants will do three months of online training before moving on to six months of work experience with employers.
To kick off the placement program, we’ll be offering 100 Singaporeans work experience with Google, across a range of different roles. The remaining 500 placements will be offered in batches by our agency partners, including Dentsu Aegis Network, Publicis and Omnicom Media Group, and we’ve also secured commitments from Sephora, financial technology company FNZ, travel companies RedDoorz and Trip.com, and local furniture retailer Castlery. We’ll continue to open up new opportunities, and we’re asking more companies to join the program and create job placements in their own workforce.
For Google, Skills Ignition SG is the next step in our long-standing commitment to Singapore, a commitment we’re deepening in response to the pandemic.
Empowering Singaporeans today, for tomorrow
In January, we renewed our Code in the Community program with the Infocomm Media Development Authority, bringing free coding classes to 6,700 students aged eight to 16, and in April, together with UOB, we expanded our SME Leadership Academy to help 4,000 small businesses from the retail, tourism and food and beverage sectors. We’re also working with nonprofits to support SMEs, seniors, migrant workers and the most disadvantaged in society. Over the past few months, we’ve given about US$760,000 in Google.org and data center grants to local charities and NGOs, as well as providing $1.6M in ads credits to small businesses and government agencies.
Looking ahead, we feel a responsibility not just to help Singaporeans get through COVID-19, but to empower them for the longer term—so that when the job market recovers and opportunities are available, they have the ability to transition into new kinds of jobs.
Singapore was the first office we opened in Southeast Asia, back in 2007. Today, it’s our headquarters in Asia Pacific, and a community we love being part of. We’re going to do all we can to help Singaporeans rebuild and emerge stronger from this crisis.