New Programme to Boost Skilled Manpower for Intellectual Property Sector

IPOS and WDA launch the Professional Conversion Programme for trainee patent agents
Singapore, 7 April 2015 – Singapore will soon witness a larger pool of qualified patent agents, with the launch of a new Professional Conversion Programme for trainee patent agents by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) today.

The programme aims to convert up to 70 professionals in the next two years to meet the growing manpower needs of the intellectual property sector. These professionals will join the ranks of more than 100,000 workforce involved in high value-added jobs in the vibrant IP sector, as revealed in a recent manpower survey. This larger core of qualified patent agents will help Singapore effectively serve the increasing demand for patent procurement services in the region, both from local enterprises and international companies. Over the past decade, Singapore has seen a healthy increase in overall patent filings by more than 30%, from 7,908 in 2003 to 10,312 in 2014.

The programme will be administered by IPOS, to help Singapore-based companies nurture newly-hired trainees who aspire to become registered patent agents in Singapore. It is based on a ‘Place-and-Train’ format whereby trainees are first placed or hired at the participating employers’ workplaces, before subsidised IP training is provided to up-skill them. The trainees will then need to practise what they have learnt for a period of time, after the formal training is over. Participating companies will receive funding for trainee-related expenses, comprising a 70 percent course fee grant capped at $7,350, and monthly training allowance capped at $2,000 per trainee or $4,000 per mature worker trainee (aged 40 years old and above) for six months.

Mr Tan Yih San, Chief Executive of IPOS said, “This programme builds on Singapore’s efforts to professionalise our IP ecosystem, creating more high value-added jobs for Singaporeans, and positioning Singapore to deliver quality IP services to the region and beyond.”

Mr Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of WDA added, “WDA is pleased to collaborate with IPOS to develop the Professional Conversion Programme for trainee patent agents. The programme will build a pool of highly skilled individuals to address the growing importance of intellectual property. Through this programme, mid-career individuals can develop knowledge and skills relevant for patents-related work. This partnership underscores both agencies’ commitment to build a strong pipeline of skilled talent in Singapore, to meet the immediate and long-term requirements of the industry.”

This programme is the latest collaboration between IPOS and WDA, who earlier concluded two agreements to implement the IP Workforce Skills Qualifications (IP WSQ) in 2013. The IP WSQ aligns the competency standards and professional certification of the practitioners within the IP industry. To further incentivise the patent agent regime in Singapore, the two agencies are also working to provide additional support to the existing pool of individuals attempting the Patent Agents Qualifying Examination (PAQE) this year, to qualify as registered patents agents. In particular, the agencies are exploring options to offer and subsidise PAQE preparatory courses conducted by the IP Academy for these individuals.

Companies interested in the Professional Conversion Programme for trainee patent agents may contact IPOS at IPOS_PAU@ipos.gov.sg.


Edited by The IPA Beacon Editorial Team