Speech - Address by Ms Alice Seow, Principal of ITE College West, at the MOU Signing between ITE and Salesforce on 5 Dec 2022, at Salesforce Singapore

News details
  • Publish date:05 Dec 2022

Mr. Tan Kiat How, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information

Mr. Sujith Abraham, Senior Vice President and ASEAN General Manager, Salesforce

Ms. Cecily Ng, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Singapore and Taiwan, Salesforce

Mr. William Sim, Vice President, Head of Trailhead Academy, APAC, Salesforce

Industry Partners, ITE Colleagues, and Students

Ladies and Gentlemen,        

Greetings and good afternoon, I'm really happy to be here in person to announce, on behalf of ITE, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Salesforce lasting five years. This renewal marks a significant step forward in a partnership that is highly valued. This collaboration, our most extensive yet, marks a significant step forward in a partnership that is highly valued.

Let me elaborate how this new MOU will forge a closer collaboration between Salesforce and ITE, specifically in three areas:

First, we will co-develop another Customer Relationship Management or CRM academic programme and curriculum via the Salesforce Trailhead training platform. This collaboration will allow ITE to infuse CRM contents and technology into our new 3-year Higher Nitec curriculum. The refreshed curriculum will include the latest CRM features like UX (User Experience) design and system security to better equip our students for real industry applications.

Secondly, we will inaugurate a brand new Salesforce-ITE Mentorship Programme to provide ITE students with the opportunity to learn from the Salesforce CRM experts. This mentorship programme targets to develop essential soft skills as well as deepen CRM knowledge among student participants, and will benefit some 60 students annually across the three ITE campuses. These students will also undergo exams to obtain additional certifications such as Salesforce administrator or developer to enhance their resume. With the youth development organisation Halogen Foundation Singapore as the training partner of Salesforce, we are confident that our students will go through a comprehensive programme that will help them cultivate not only crucial technical CRM skills but also a wider perspective of leadership and other transferable soft skills.

Lastly, this MOU will allow us to leverage on Salesforce's network of industry partners to provide ITE students with invaluable internship and employment opportunities in the CRM industry.

Traditionally, the entry point of the CRM Administrator has always been a degree-level job role. Anyone who wishes to enter the CRM industry must first qualify themselves with a degree-level or equivalent industry accreditation. Back in 2018 when we first signed this MOU, both ITE and Salesforce already anticipated and envisaged that CRM training could begin with an ITE education. Together, we developed the Salesforce trailhead contents into bitesize components within our curriculum to enable ITE students to build and accumulate their CRM portfolio over time as they pursue further studies.

This collaboration has since trained over 100 ITE staff as Master Trainers, and about 8500 students developed their trailhead portfolio by completing our CRM modules through the Salesforce-ITE curriculum.

Let me share how one of our ITE graduates, Daphne Ang, benefitted from this programme. Daphne graduated in 2020 with a Higher Nitec in Accounting. Over and above the CRM portfolio accumulated during her course of study, Daphne went through another 5-day intensive ADM201 training programme organized by Salesforce, together with 20 other coursemates, during the vacation. The ADM201 course is an industry-recognized programme that further enhances Daphne’s capabilities in the CRM platform.

On her CRM experience in ITE, Daphne said,”The skills I’ve picked up have been instrumental to me furthering my studies at Nanyang Polytechnic, where I am undergoing Business Management course. I am confident that my CRM skillsets will prepare me for future jobs.” The Trailhead portfolio development which she commenced in ITE has thus enabled her to continue navigating the Salesforce curriculum proficiently and confidently and Daphne is now looking forward to realise her career aspiration in the CRM industry. We wish Daphne all the best moving forward.

In his Committee of Supply (COS) speech on 4 March 2022, SMS Tan Kiat How highlighted the importance of helping "our local polytechnic and ITE graduates enter tech roles through more structured pathways.” And this is exactly what the newly inaugurated Salesforce-ITE mentorship programme will strive to achieve. With the structured mentorship programme, more ITE students, like Daphne, will be empowered to connect to opportunities and learn the ropes of the CRM industry, eventually landing a role in the Salesforce ecosystem, which according to an IDC study, is projected to create 18,600 jobs in Singapore by 2026!

Our mission at ITE is to create opportunities for our students to acquire the skills, knowledge, and values they need to contribute and make a meaningful impact as part of tomorrow’s workforce. The extension of our partnership with Salesforce — our biggest yet — reaffirms this mission, and allows our students to hone their CRM expertise at a pivotal moment where digital transformation and customer experience are so deeply entwined. Through Trailhead and the newly-launched Salesforce ITE Mentorship Programme, making upskilling accessible and providing guidance to our youth are vital steps to prepare them for a digital-first tomorrow.

This Salesforce-ITE partnership has proven fruitful over the years, and we are deeply honoured to have a dedicated partner like Salesforce. Their continual efforts towards education and workforce development will be key enablers in ITE's mission of preparing a work-ready and world-ready graduate. We look forward to a rich and eventful partnership with Salesforce in the years ahead.

Thank you.