After working in the manufacturing sector for 12 years, Mr Ching Geok Loon hungered for a new challenge. He found it by making a career switch to the Infocomm and Technology (ICT) services sector.

To further his ambition, he returned to school. In March this year, the 36-year-old enrolled for a National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF) – Diploma in Infocomm Sales and Marketing course, conducted by the NICF CET (Continuing Education Training) partner, Lithan Hall Academy.

The NICF – Diploma course is part of the “Immerse, Grow, Navigate in Infocomm Technology with Eloquence (Ignite)” programme developed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA). The Ignite programme is essentially a place and train scheme comprising two components — on-the-job training with an employer and a structured training course.

Ignite aims to address manpower gaps in the ICT sector by training non-ICT individuals who wish to enter the ICT sector, or existing ICT professionals who want to switch careers into new ICT sub-sectors.

Thanks to the Ignite programme, Mr Ching found a job placement with Teamie as a senior training and support manager, where he currently supports and enables clients  to deliver educational content on Teamie’s cloud-based social platform for Internet and mobile users.

Although it was tiring attending classes after work, he looked forward to interacting with the lecturers each time, as many of them had entrepreneurial backgrounds and could share real-life experiences.

He also found the course content very useful, as it covered a wide range of topics on technopreneurship as well as technology sales and marketing.

Mr Ching says enthusiastically: “The course helped to hone my skills in IT knowledge and IT sales and marketing as I did not have any prior work experience in this field. Now I can understand my clients’ pain points much better. In return, I am able to share different ways in which Teamie’s social learning tools can be used to achieve their business and learning objectives. At the same time, I work closely with the product team to enhance Teamie’s offerings for our clients.”

Apart from mid-career switchers like Mr Ching, the NICF also provides a rewarding career for existing ICT professionals who want to move into new ICT sub-sectors.

For former global senior IT specialist Corinna Toh, her search for career advancement paid off when she chanced upon an advertisement on NICF training programmes. After nine months of attending the NICF Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) course conducted by Lithan Hall Academy, the 34-year-old gained an in-depth knowledge of ERP and understood business processes much faster than before.

She also mastered real-world applications of various business functions using ERP-integrated software solutions. Before the end of her training, G&W Group hired her as a management information systems manager. At the end of her training, she graduated with a NICF Diploma in Software and Applications (Requirement Gathering and Process Redesign).

Both Mr Ching and Ms Toh are just two individuals among thousands who have benefited from the various training courses under NICF and have secured successful job placements in the ICT sector.

Mr Shivanu Shukla, CEO of Teamie, who hired Mr Ching, said: “NICF graduates are trained to develop innovative ideas, execute sales plans and acquire business management skills during the course. With that, they have good client interaction skills and can service our clients more effectively, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and generating recurring opportunities for the company.”

 

Article contributed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA). For more information on NICF, please visit www.nicf.sg. For enquiries, please e-mail nicf@wda.gov.sg

 

National framework

The National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF), which is part of the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) system, was jointly developed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the Infocomm Authority of Singapore (IDA) and industry partners.

The NICF was completed in 2009 and, to date, 587 competency standards have been identified for 314 job roles. Besides serving as a national framework for training providers to develop and align their training programmes to, the NICF is also used as a tool for businesses to develop their human resource capabilities within the organisation, such as the development of job profiles, training roadmaps, performance assessment and appraisals framework, and in-house training curriculum.

For individuals, NICF is a certification programme that is nationally accredited and based on industry-endorsed competencies for entry into and progression within the ICT sector. Individuals who enrol in NICF programmes will receive competency-based training, work-integrated experiential learning and successful career transition support as they undergo training.