Singapore operator M1 teamed with Workforce Singapore (WSG) on a government-supported scheme to retrain its workforce to expand the pool of talent with the latest digital skills to support its 5G rollout.

M1 outlined details of the move in a statement, explaining the initiative will offer training developed by the National University of Singapore and Singapore Polytechnic, and is part of a larger transformation strategy announced earlier this year.

The operator selected 90 employees, or nearly 10 per cent of its workforce, from core business units to undergo training as part of the government’s Career Conversion Programme for 5G Infocomm Professionals.

Practical training will take between three months and six months, mostly comprising on-the-job projects covering 5G and emerging technologies spanning IoT, cloud engineering and data analytics.

M1 HR director Chan Sock Leng explained a period of “bold changes” sparked by its digital transformation meant “many roles now require our people to be equipped with new digital skills and competencies”.

She added developing talent “is crucial for us to advance and be prepared for the future of the industry”.

Gillian Woo, director of the Creative and Professional Services Division at WSG, added it expects demand for 5G talent to grow as more companies participate in the ecosystem, noting the programme provides a timely opportunity for companies to reskill their employees to back network and technology rollouts.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority launched a programme with the country’s MNOs in 2020 aimed at hiring and reskilling 1,000 professionals.