AI Singapore’s AI Apprenticeship Programme (AIAP) awarded “2019 Talent Accelerator for Singapore” by IDC Singapore

Singapore, 8 October 2019 – AI Singapore’s AI Apprenticeship Programme (AIAP) is recognized as one of the country winners in the “Talent Accelerator” category in this year’s IDC Digital Transformation Awards (DX Awards).

IDC’s DX Awards recognizes outstanding organizations that have made critical breakthroughs in digital transformation across the Asia Pacific region, spread across seven different categories.

The AIAP digital transformation project was selected among over 1000 high-quality entries received from end-user organizations across Asia/Pacific. This initial win at a country-level allowed AI Singapore to qualify as one of IDC’s finalists for the regional awards. AI Singapore will be benchmarked against other winners in the same category to ultimately determine the region’s best of the best.

The AIAP is a full time 9-month programme where we train and groom local Singaporean Artificial Intelligence (AI) talent. This is in line with the nation’s focus in deepening national capabilities in AI, not only in terms of technology, but also skillsets and talents. The AIAP is a deep skilling programme and successful applicants to the AIAP are expected to have prior knowledge in AI and machine learning. During the duration of the programme, the apprentice is paid a stipend of between SGD$3500 – $5500 per month. There is no programme fee as this is a fully subsidized programme by the Singapore government.

In a 2+7 months approach, the apprentices get to deepen their skills not only in AI, machine learning and deep learning but also software engineering skills for model deployment into production in the first two months of the programme. From the third month onwards, they will complete 10 x 3 weeks or 15 x 2 weeks sprints on a real-world AI project from AI Singapore’s 100 Experiments (100E) programme. Each 100E is co-funded with the industry up to SGD$500,000, and is expected to solve a real-world business problem leading to significant productivity gains, costs savings and/or new products and solutions for the industry.

IDC’s DX Awards follows a two-phased approach to determine the country and regional winners. Each nomination is evaluated by a local and regional IDC analyst against a standard assessment framework based on IDC’s DX taxonomy. All country winners will qualify for the regional competition, which will be decided by a regional panel of judges comprised of IDC Worldwide analysts, industry thought leaders and academia. Singapore winners will be awarded at the end of the IDC DX Summit Singapore on 24 October, 2019 in Singapore, along with the regional DX Award winners.

“We are indeed honoured and excited to be given this award for our first participation in the DX Awards. The AIAP was conceived to solve a problem AI Singapore faced ourselves i.e. the lack of Singaporean AI engineers to work on our 100 Experiments programme. In the last 18-months, we have undertaken more than 38 AI projects and deployed more than 10 projects into production. The AI apprentices work on these real-world AI projects together with our AI Singapore engineers, mentors and Institutes of Higher Learning/Research Institutes collaborators,” said Laurence Liew, Director, AI Industry Innovation, AI Singapore.

“Digital disruption is impacting all industries and countries around the world. By 2022, the digital economy will go mainstream with 46% of global GDP expected to come from digital products and services. Organizations, both large and small, are seeking digital talent to help them to compete better. Emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning are critical capabilities for the next phase of digital transformation. It is therefore important for governments and educational institutions to provide the necessary programs to prepare the next generation, train young professionals and reskill experienced/senior workforce to contribute effectively in the digital economy”, says Sandra Ng, Group Vice President, Practice Group, IDC Asia/Pacific.

“To date, 2 batches of Singaporean AI apprentices have graduated; 11 out of 57 have been hired into AI Singapore with the rest joining organizations such as DSTA, DBS, Grab and CapGemini, amongst others. Our plan is to train up to 500 Singaporean AI apprentices over the next 5 years for the industry.” said Laurence.

The AIAP is the first TechSkills Accelerator Company-Led Training (TeSA-CLT) initiative in AI.  This is a collaboration between AI Singapore and IMDA to develop a pipeline of AI professionals for the industry.


For more information about the award, visit


Read the IDC Press Release here.


  • Halim

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