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Singapore boosts training on developing 'smart estates' of the future

SKILLSFUTURE Singapore (SSG) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will partner CapitaLand, CPG Corporation and EM Services to redesign jobs and skills to support the development of "smart estates" in Singapore, both agencies said in a joint statement. 

According to IMDA, smart estates refer to estates that leverage smart technologies to enrich the lives of the community. This could include artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) and even 5G technology

With support from the Building and Construction Authority, the Smart Estates Talent Development Programme (SETDP) was launched last Friday with the aim to train 300 Singaporeans to support the development of Singapore's smart estates ecosystem.

Said SSG and IMDA: "Singapore's smart estates ecosystem will require companies to develop new capabilities, supported by new and emerging skills and competencies across the built environment value-chain, to design, build and maintain estates of the future."

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SSG and IMDA have signed a memorandum of understanding with CapitaLand, CPG Corporation, EM Services, the Singapore International Facility Management Association (SIFMA), Singapore Polytechnic, the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), and Temasek Polytechnic, to co-develop and pilot the SETDP.

The three firms, together with SIFMA, will also work with SIT, Singapore Poly and Temasek Poly to jointly develop a training curriculum to build new smart estates capabilities, establish new industry standards, and equip the workforce with relevant skills and competencies.

"Participants will benefit from a cross-disciplinary and skills-based curriculum that will deepen their skills in design, development and management of smart estates through a combination of classroom training, blended learning, on-the-job training and mentorship," said SSG and IMDA.

The pilot run of the SETDP will start in 2020. Following this, the programme will be introduced to the wider industry, including small and medium enterprises.

Ng Cher Pong, chief executive of SSG, said: "As Singapore develops smart estates, we are committed to helping companies build a skilled talent pipeline to seize opportunities across the built environment value-chain, both in Singapore and around the region.

"Through the development of the SETDP, we are making available useful insights and relevant training required to better prepare companies and their workforce for the digital economy."

In November last year, IMDA announced that it had set aside S$14 million over the next three years for its smart estates efforts, to support initiatives such as the Smart Estates Technology Call for Innovative Solutions (CFIS).

Under the CFIS, IMDA selected eight projects out of 74 proposals, with a total grant of S$1.5 million. These projects were chosen for their "inventive concepts that can potentially enhance estate management processes and achieve more efficient use of resources", IMDA said.

Some of these projects involve the development of new technologies to improve traffic management and landscaping.