SINGAPORE: Top-notch tech talents, from start-up entrepreneurs to experienced industry operators, are starting to set their sights on Singapore.
There have been about 60 applications approved as at March 31 for the new Tech.Pass that aims to attract top-tier foreigners, the Economic Development Board (EDB) told The Straits Times.
This is well above the 22 successful applications announced in Parliament last month.
The Straits Times understands that requests came from a diverse pool of candidates.
Approved candidates include tech entrepreneurs, investors and those with management experience in sizeable tech firms.
The Straits Times understands many of the successful applicants are in the early stages of making plans to move to Singapore and the roles they will assume here are still not firmed up.
Tech.Pass is administered by the EDB and was launched in January with 500 places available.
It targets professionals with a track record of either founding or leading sizeable tech companies and in the development of widely adopted products.
The pass also builds on the Tech @ SG programme, which spells out more flexible requirements for foreign professionals to apply for an Employment Pass.
Tech talent as a whole has been in short supply in Singapore as large firms continue to expand.
There were 890 vacancies for software, Web and multimedia developers and 700 for systems analysts as at last September. These two job scopes had the most positions available in the infocomm technology industry, according to Manpower Ministry data this month.
“It is important that companies set up in Singapore have access to a strong Singaporean workforce complemented by a diverse foreign workforce, in order to better serve the international and regional markets, ” said Ang Chin Tah, senior vice-president of Digital Industry Singapore, a joint office of the EDB, Enterprise Singapore and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) that engages with the technology sector.
Ang told The Straits Times that digital skills continue to be in demand and Singapore’s workforce must keep up with changes to stay competitive.
“These include skills in areas such as analytics and data science, cyber security, product management and software engineering, ” he said.
Ang said that tech companies like Shopee, Lazada and Amazon have been actively hiring despite the pandemic. — The Straits Times/ANN