Channel NewsAsia

More talent support for SMEs

More help is on the way for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in attracting talent. The SME Talent Programme will be consolidated with five other existing programmes to include university students and offer a wider range of initiatives.

SINGAPORE: More help is on the way for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in attracting talent.

The SME Talent Programme (STP) has been streamlined.

Currently, it provides study grants and job opportunities for polytechnic and ITE students.

But the scheme will now be consolidated with five other existing programmes to include university students and offer a wider range of initiatives.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck said: "What we want to do is channel our talents into the SME sector which used to (have trouble with drawing) in some of the graduates. That will be our focus.

“The internship and the skill practice that is relevant to the industry, there'll be a lot of focus to work with the SME on that. So it's not just academic because the polytechnic and ITE will take care of the academic aspect, so that's done. But right now it's to channel the (rest of the) students’… time into practice, skills."

Ninety students received study awards from 45 participating SMEs across various industries like F&B, services and manufacturing on Friday.

The STP has received more than 300 applications since its introduction in June last year.

It aims to place 4000 students in SMEs within the next five years.

The STP was designed to help small firms attract local talent.

Power cable manufacturer, Keystone Cable, said it has benefited from it, amid the tight labour market.

Pearl Yu, marketing and admin director at Keystone Cable, said: "In terms of foreign labour, we're pretty near our cap already so we definitely have to find ways to engage more Singaporeans too.

“Apart from that, whether it's foreign or local… we're always looking for fresh talent to join our company because we're a growing company in the region. Keystone Cable is a B2B company so unless you're already (in the) industry, you wouldn't have heard of us, let alone a fresh graduate. So for us to reach out to new talent, STP helps to break down that barrier."

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna