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ITE may introduce e-learning to CET students

ITE hopes this will enable its students to take up jobs that will help them to advance in their careers, and which are on par with what university graduates can do.

SINGAPORE: A study by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) has shown that three in 10 of its students end up in jobs that are unrelated to what they studied. This could be because some companies do not offer the students attractive salaries or training and progression opportunities, resulting in students seeking out other industries.

To address this, Dr Ang Kiam Wee, principal of ITE College Central said the ITE may introduce e-learning to its Continuing Education and Training (CET) programme to deepen its graduates' skills and knowledge. He hopes this will enable ITE students to take up jobs that will help them to advance in their careers, and which are on par with what university graduates can do.

ITE currently has several e-learning modules for students who are on full-time programmes. But it is considering extending some of these e-learning modules to its CET students so that they do not have to go to the campus at fixed times.

Overall, ITE students have seen a 20 per cent increase in starting salaries over the last four years. Last year, they earned an average starting salary of S$1,686, compared to S$1,391 in 2009. Nine in 10 ITE graduates manage to find work within six months after graduation.

The Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (ASPIRE) Committee is expected to release its recommendations soon and ITE is hoping this will pave the way for more companies to provide structured internships for students. This could have benefits for both students as well as prospective employers.

Dr Ang said: “Today, not all the companies are onboard on internship programmes. I understand that in many companies, there are also constraints - manpower constraints, site constraints - and they do not have enough people and supervisors for the interns. But I think the companies should look beyond today.

“The internship programme helps the students today. But indirectly, it is also helping the company. When you project a positive image that this is a good company to work for, and the students during internship have a positive experience - these students will decide to join your company when they graduate. Indirectly, the company will also assess the work attitude of the student during internship. If they find that this is a good student, who is very positive and hardworking, then they would realise this is a potential employee for them.” 

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