Microsoft ‘ecosystem’ to create 86,000 jobs in Singapore by 2026 as skills, sustainability initiatives launched

In an interview with CNA, local managing director Lee Hui Li described sustainability as Microsoft Singapore’s “north star” and also highlighted cybersecurity, accessibility, and closing the gap between skills and employability, as key pillars in the company’s strategy.

Ms Lee said Microsoft wanted to be part of an ecosystem driving “more meaningful innovation” in Singapore, with technology having the potential to act as a “deflationary force” in an inflationary market environment.

“Especially in this climate, with inflation, with supply chain challenges, everybody’s looking at how can I be more productive? How can I do more with less?” she said.

Asked about what recent mass layoffs at tech companies meant for tech professionals, Ms Lee said opportunities in Singapore and the region remained and had expanded after the pandemic drove digital transformation.

She said Microsoft wanted to help build the tech talent pool to meet this demand. In particular, the Datacenter Academy with ITE aims to groom “non-degree tech talents” and create pathways to higher-paying roles in the sector.

Turning to sustainability, Ms Lee said this might not be “top of mind” for SMEs, but that was what informed the partnership with IMDA to look at how Microsoft could help businesses find sustainable solutions.

Mr Jeth Lee, Microsoft Singapore’s lead for legal and government affairs, said part of the equation was to provide developers with the tools to think about the principles for making an application more sustainable.

The other part of the equation was working with the Government to make it “frictionless and easy” for more SMEs to implement sustainability solutions, he said.

These efforts will involve sustainable solutions such as the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability, and advice on governance frameworks like sustainable operating models or compliance structures to help SMEs measure, track and report their carbon emissions.

Ms Lee said Microsoft is also continuing to partner with customers in change management in the workplace, including the use of technology to drive diversity and inclusion by enabling hybrid work arrangements, cross-border teams and well-being at work.

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