Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence Mr Ong Ye Kung officiated at the signing of a work-learn Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF)'s Defence Cyber Organisation (DCO) and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) today. The "Memorandum of Understanding for Cyber NSF Work-Learn Programme" was signed by MINDEF's Deputy Secretary (Special Projects) and Defence Cyber Chief Mr David Koh, and Deputy President (Academic) and Provost, SIT Professor Loh Han Tong.
Mr Ong also announced the Cyber NSF Scheme, which all full-time national servicemen (NSFs) in cyber vocations will now come under, and the Cyber Specialist Award, a contract which will be offered to selected cyber NSFs who demonstrate the requisite aptitude and skill, and who meet the stringent selection requirements for the award.
The MOU between DCO and SIT is the first work-learn programme between MINDEF and an education institute where NSFs are sent for academic upgrading while employed in an operational role. This will equip them with the necessary skills to better perform their duties, and was made possible through close collaboration between MINDEF, the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) , SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and SIT. This work-learn programme will be applicable to NSFs who are recipients of the Cyber Specialist Award. Award recipients will also attend professional courses and attain professional certifications.
Mr Ong said that the new Cyber NSF Scheme was a meaningful breakthrough. He added that it was a marrying of three trends. "One, the operational requirements of the Singapore Armed Forces to defend our country better, especially in the area of cyber defence. Two, the rise of a young group that is au fait with cyber defence, and we want to tap and leverage on their expertise. And three, an evolution of teaching methods in all our universities and Institutes of Higher Learning, that it is not just lectures but also hands-on experience."
A pilot batch of participants will enlist for full-time NS in the second half of 2018. For future intakes, interested pre-enlistees may apply online at www.mindef.gov.sg/CyberNSF.