Good evening. I am delighted to join you here at the Singapore Hour.
2 You can tell from the buzz and interest this evening that we are really in times when the industry is going through some interesting shifts and trends; in terms of technology, industry consolidation and focus on Asian content and its attraction globally. Their convergence creates a unique opportunity for us, especially for those who are actively involved in the media industry.
Singapore as the Gateway
3 Singapore, by virtue of being at the crossroads of the East and the West, and given some of our existing capabilities, can contribute to the evolution and development of the media industry in Singapore, the region and globally as well.
4 Our position here has enabled us to work closely with industry partners such as HBO who has worked with Singapore-based Infinite Studios on the original drama series Grisse, which premiered to audiences in Asia, US and parts of Europe. It has also opened up opportunities for local filmmakers like Ler Jiyuan to work alongside international talent.
5 These collaborations are part of our effort to create more ‘Made-with-Singapore’ content. It is not just about what we do here in Singapore, but what we do together in collaborations and partnerships in order for us to reach a wider market with higher quality of products.
6 To that end, we want to foster more regional collaboration. And that is why the Southeast Asia (S.E.A) Co-production Grant will be launched officially next year. The grant encourages collaborations between Singaporean creative producers and Southeast Asian filmmaking talent, with funding support of up to $250,000 per project. Local producers can be supported in their overseas expansion and growth in order to create even more compelling content that appeals to a much wider audience.
7 Even as we pursue co-production, there are two other areas we are focused on – one is how we can have greater funding for capacity building in the industry, and the other is talent development.
8 On funding, the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) will launch a Public Service Media (PSM) Digital Partnership Fund. The aim of this is to allow for content producers to tell Singapore stories online, on digital platforms. And they have opportunities to work together with industry partners and technology partners in order to do this. This is an important area of work.
9 IMDA is also embarking on partnerships with industry partners to foster skills exchange in digital content creation.
10 One example is Disney’s proposed two-year collaboration where content creators will be mentored by their executives. They can also be involved in the production of the Content Studio’s slate of digital-first multiplatform original series, targeted at the Southeast Asian markets.
11 We will also launch the Facebook Creator Lab, the first of such initiatives in the region. Under this one-year partnership, local content creators will learn useful tips on audience analytics, monetization opportunities and content creation for Facebook’s latest platforms.
Develop Future Ready Industry Talent
12 But we want to go beyond that and have a framework and approach for the development of skills and talent in the industry as a whole. We need a deep pipeline of media talent to complement these exciting collaborations.
13 In 2017 alone, more than 20,000 media professionals employed across the economy.1 This demand will certainly grow as there is a keener appreciation for the talent in this sector to contribute to the overall growth of businesses in the digital era.
14 Most significantly, I am pleased today to launch the Skills Framework for Media, jointly developed by IMDA, Skills Future Singapore and Workforce Singapore (WSG). Developed in consultation with the industry, the Framework provides guidance on new skills in demand and career progression for over 100 different jobs within the industry.
15 Training providers can adapt their programmes to meet these kinds of skills requirement and help individuals in the industry progress in their career.
16 For employers, there is opportunity to be informed by this Framework in order to nurture their talent and optimising capabilities. I am pleased that there are already several early adopters such as Mediacorp, Singapore Press Holdings, MM2 Entertainment, and ShopBack. We will want to see more enterprises, especially larger players, step out to participate and endorse the framework and utilise it for mutual benefit.
17 Finally for individuals, this will be an excellent guide on how they can shape their careers – the skills they need, whether they are from outside the industry coming in or already within the industry seeking to upskill further. I want to cite one example – Ms Valerie Chye, who is here with us today, works as a media management manager at Mediacorp, one of the early adopters of the Framework. She is featured in the Skills Framework Media booklet representing the “Digital Asset Manager” career track. Valerie is now considering courses offered by the Approved Training Organizations to acquire new skills in cloud computing and cybersecurity, to keep pace with the new demands of her job role.
18 We expect this Framework to be refreshed regularly in order to keep up with the various trends in the industry.
19 There are exciting opportunities offered in the media industry because of the confluence of technological shifts, business and industry consolidation and restructuring, as well as the heightened interest in Asian content. What we need to do in order to seize these opportunities in full is to ensure that we are facilitating greater collaboration in content creation, both within Singapore and across the region. Secondly, greater industry and public sector partnerships in order to develop talent and enhance capacity in our enterprises. Finally, have a targeted and deliberate approach to developing the talent that we have in the industry so that they can take on more interesting and exciting opportunities ahead. That is why we have announced this range of initiatives and partnerships as well as the Skills Framework. We look forward to working closely with all of you, not just in the execution of these ideas but also to be informed by the industry, which can help us actively engage in this dynamic and exciting industry.
20 I wish all of you a pleasant evening. Thank you very much.