Speech - Address by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education, at Launch of NVIDIA-ITE AI Workforce Readiness Programme on 19 January 2022, at ITE College Central

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  • Publish date:19 Jan 2022

Mr. Dennis Ang and Representatives from NVIDIA

Mr Andrew Chong, Chairman, ITE

Ms Low Khah Gek, Chief Executive, ITE 

Distinguished Partners and Guests from the Industry  

ITE Colleagues and Students  

Ladies and Gentlemen 


Good morning. 


1.         It is my pleasure to be here today at the launch of NVIDIA and ITE’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Workforce Readiness Programme.


Developing a Vibrant AI Ecosystem


2.         AI is a topic commonly discussed, but rarely well understood. 

a.     At its core, AI is the capability for computers to simulate intelligent, human-like behaviour. 

b.     Efforts in this field are not new. The theory behind most modern

AI algorithms today dates back to the 1980s.

c.     These theories were brought into renewed focus due to advances in computing power, which allowed them to be

translated into practical applications. 


3.         AI tools are applied in a variety of fields today. 

a.     In our daily lives, AI is used to analyse our preferences and recommend our next meal on food delivery, or video clip on streaming platforms.

b.     In banking, bank fraud experts use AI to outsmart scammers by monitoring their behaviour and predicting their next move. 

c.     In healthcare, AI is used to speed up cancer diagnosis. Faster detection saves lives. 


4.         Under Singapore’s “National AI Strategy”, we have set a target to be a leader in developing and deploying AI solutions by 2030. To achieve this target of adopting AI in our economy, a wide spectrum of complementary skillsets and job roles are required. 

a.     This ranges from Tech-Heavy roles, focused on more complex functions and innovation, and require more advanced IT skills in technology development and data engineering; 

b.     To roles focusing on operating and applying AI, such as digital marketing executives where skills such as technology application and data analytics are important. 


Building a strong AI Talent Pipeline

5.         Our education system is key to developing talent across this wide spectrum of complementary skillsets. 

a.     Our universities will continue to train students to meet growing demands for AI talent. 

b.     But the full suite of AI talent cannot be fulfilled by a single pipeline of university graduates. 

c.     There is a growing range of job roles required to deploy and integrate AI systems. Examples include business analysts and AI translators, user experience designers, quality assurance managers and marketing analysts. 

d.     Our polytechnics and ITE provide an important source of talent for these roles. 


6.         To meet these demands, our polytechnics and ITE are actively providing opportunities for students to be involved in the development and adoption of AI.  

a.     Students across all disciplines are equipped in baseline AI competencies, including skills such as technology application and data analytics skills. 

b.     In ITE, students currently undergoing training in sectors, such as manufacturing, finance, logistics, and cybersecurity are also equipped with deeper AI proficiencies, and learn to leverage AI tools within these sectors. 

c.     I look forward to ITE’s showcase of their in-house projects later, including an AI-enabled assessment tool for educators and an AI-enabled interview practice for students. 

i.             The active involvement of ITE students in the deployment of these projects show the value and importance of ITE graduates in the AI landscape.

ii.            We must continue to encourage and develop our ITE and polytechnic students in being a vital part of the AI ecosystem in Singapore. 

iii.          To our students, I hope that this has been a meaningful experience for you, and offers you a sense of the potential impact of the skills which you are developing. 


7.         But training cannot be done by institutions alone. Partnerships like the one we are launching today between ITE and NVIDIA are an important part of our efforts to enhance our training ecosystem. 


8.         The collaboration with NVIDIA will help ITE students be furnished with a suite of AI capabilities for the future economy.

a.     Students will be exposed to skillsets in computer vision, pattern recognition and data analytics,

b.     and trained to support AI applications in predictive maintenance, industrial inspection and video analytics.


Importance of Industry Partnerships

9.         Indeed, a unique selling point of our applied education institutions, like ITE, are their strong partnerships with industry partners like NVIDIA. 

a.     Many of our education institutions play a critical role in supporting companies in their enterprise and workforce transformation



10.     The AI Workforce Readiness Programme is one such example. It builds on ITE’s strong industry linkages to develop talent in AI adoption and deployment via a Train-Skill-Employ approach.

a.     ITE students are trained in industry-applicable AI skills with the goal of developing a healthy local talent pipeline to aid SMEs in their digitalisation efforts.

b.     The Programme will pair ITE’s existing network of local industry partners with NVIDIA’s network of local AI start-ups, based on the former’s organisational needs and the latter’s industry-ready


c.     This roll out will be aligned to ITE’s focus sectors in areas of engineering, logistics, retail and manufacturing - industries wellplaced for AI adoption. 

d.     Many of these local industry partners have already been supporting our ITE students with internship opportunities. 

i. Moving forward, ITE will continue to value-add to this relationship. Student interns can now also serve as ‘AI Ambassadors’ to focus on AI-driven use case

experimentation within these companies. 



11.    Thank you NVIDIA and ITE for spearheading this effort. I hope many more companies will come forward and partner our ITE, polytechnics and universities to produce another generation of graduates who have the necessary skills to meet the demands of the future economy. We will continue to work closely with our industry partners to prepare our students for tomorrow’s jobs, so that they can have a fulfilling career ahead of them. Congratulations to ITE and NVIDIA on this exciting collaboration.