Details of a new programme that will see fresh polytechnic and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduates matched to employers to work and train towards industry-recognised certification were released on Wednesday (Feb 25).
The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme will be a 12- to 18-month-long programme, and funding will be provided to both the individuals and employers who participate.
Individuals will get a sign-on incentive of S$5,000 for Singaporeans and employers will get a grant of up to S$15,000 for each trainee they take in. The programme will be progressively implemented from this year in different sectors and will benefit up to one in three polytechnic and ITE graduates by 2025.
These details were revealed by the SkillsFuture Council Secretariat on Wednesday, following the announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in his Budget statement delivered on Monday.
The programme is aimed at providing graduates with more opportunities to build on the skills and knowledge they acquired in school, and to better support their transition into the workforce. It is also designed in collaboration with industry to ensure relevance to employers.
Other SkillsFuture initiatives include enhanced internships to strengthen students' learning in the workplace, such as by better defining learning outcomes and having structured learning activities. The enhancements to the internship curriculum are expected to be extended to half of all ITE courses and two-thirds of all polytechnic courses over the next two years, and for all ITE and polytechnic courses by 2020.
Currently, almost all polytechnic courses and about six in ten ITE courses have an internship component that provides students with exposure to a real work environment. Many of these students undertake internships either in their second or third year and are usually attached to the host companies for an average of three months.
To create more international exposure opportunities for students, IE Singapore will extend the Young Talent Programme (YTP) to all polytechnics and the ITE. It will be implemented in the third quarter of this year.
The YTP currently supports Singaporeans from participating local universities, including National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University, to take on market immersion opportunities such as internships and work-study programmes.