Singapore wants to use its National Service to build cybersecurity skills among recruits.

The Government can use National Service “to develop deep [and] niche skills in cybersecurity”, according to recommendations by the Committee On The Future Economy (CFE).

The Government will “organise the best students in mathematics and science to compete to be
posted, into technology-based vocations during Full-Time National Service”, it stated. “This
can help develop a generation of expertise steeped in military technologies such as data analytics, robotics and cybersecurity.”

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will start to allow NS enlistees to indicate their preferred vocations, and deepen their “expertise in sectors of both military and economic strategic importance”, the CFE wrote.

This follows in Israel’s approach, where the country streams its high school graduates and uses military service as training ground to build their skills. “Every year we have something like 120,000 graduates [from] high schools”, and “we take them and sort them,” Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, who has lead Israel’s national cybersecurity policy and heads the Interdisciplinary Research Center, told GovInsider.

“We have a huge military force, and we will send you to serve in a unit that will fit your skills”, he continued.

The CFE aims for the National Service recruits to form a “strong” network in cyber expertise, and recommends the Ministry of Defence set up “such technology vocations and give this initiative sufficient priority in terms of competing for the best talent”, it wrote.

The CFE is a 30 member committee formed by the government to identify key growth areas and trends that will keep Singapore’s economy competitive in the future. It is co-chaired by Minister for Finance Mr Heng Swee Keat and Minister for Trade and Industry Mr S Iswaran.

Now read: Exclusive: Israel to Singapore – here’s how to boost cyber skills