Smart Estates Talent Development Programme

As the Built Environment industry undergoes rapid transformation due to the availability and adoption of sophisticated technology, its talent readiness would be key to drive the industry forward. In anticipation of this critical path, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) engaged Eden to support the development of a training programme geared towards addressing the skills and competency gaps needed for development projects adopting smart technologies, or ‘Smart Estates’. Smart Estates refer to highly interconnected estates which integrate the physical and digital layers of estates to create a proactive and predictive estate environment that enriches the community’s living experience. The Smart Estates Talent Development Programme (SETDP) was helmed by SSG and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and supported by the Singapore Building Construction Authority (BCA) as part of the larger national Smart Estates Initiative. 

As Smart Estates’ is a pioneering concept, our work explored case studies of global innovations and development principles which could inspire future Smart Estate development. We also examined technology drivers, sociocultural and economic trends, and how they intersected with Smart Estate typologies. This landscaping exercise allowed us to futurecast five scenarios of potential Smart Estate development, for which we determined the requisite skills to that would be key to realize these scenarios. These skills included parametric modelling, computational design, artificial intelligence as well as advanced applications of Building Information Modelling (BIM). Eden’s role also involved the re-design of existing job roles and imagination of future job roles in line with the future skills required, that combined both technical competencies and behavioural competencies. 

Validation and discussion with businesses is central to ensuring the accuracy and industry relevance of our findings. Our methodology therefore included facilitating a roundtable discussion with technology solutions providers across key future areas in Smart Estate Management (SEM) functions and applications such as video analytics, spatial intelligence, graphing, AI, and IoT. This allowed us to gain insight into on-the-ground business needs and explore the impact that SEM could potentially have on business, service, and operating models. Additionally, Eden led SEM imagination workshops with four leading firms across the Built Environment value chain in the areas of property development, facilities management, construction and management, and consultancy to co-create a vision of SEM, surface business concerns, challenges, and future capabilities requiredA total of nine future job roles were developed and validated through an iterative feedback process by representatives of the four lead demand generators. Brokering partnerships with these firms and securing their buy-in was critical towards guaranteeing the adoption and tangible industry impact of SETDP. 

The engagement culminated in the SETDP launch in November 2019 during which the following institutions, including: CapitaLand, CPG Corporation, EM Services Pte Ltd, International Facility Management Association – Singapore Chapter, Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore Institute of Technology, and Temasek Polytechnic signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IMDA and SSG to co-develop and pilot the SETDP for 300 Singaporeans over the next three years. 

As part of the launch, Eden also drove the development of the Smart Estates Talent Playbook as the Knowledge Partner of the initiative. The playbook aims to better inform companies and professionals in the Built Environment sector on future hiring and training pathways.