Channel NewsAsia

Some employers, HR experts welcome ASPIRE's recommendations

Benefits of initiatives like the Place-and-Train programme and more structured internships can provide ITE and polytechnic graduates work competencies early on in their career.

SINGAPORE: Some employers and human resource experts have welcomed the recommendations made by the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (ASPIRE) Committee on Monday (Aug 25), which include providing Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnic graduates work competencies early on in their career.

They pointed out the benefits of initiatives like the Place-and-Train programme and more structured internships. Dr Lim Boon Huat, managing director of Rohde & Schwarz Asia, said: "I see this as strengthening the skills development. It is only when you adopt the identity of an employee that your learning becomes purposeful. It also allows for the gradual gestation of your learning because then you pace your learning with the experience you gather, so your learning will become deep and insightful."

The committee acknowledged that the industry now has an equally important role, where the Government previously played a big part in education. Allowing ITE and polytechnic students to deepen their skills and giving them more opportunities to advance their careers would also benefit small and medium enterprises (SMEs) amid tighter resources and a manpower crunch.

According to some human resource experts, the collaboration will allow SMEs to employ someone whom they can train specifically for their work environment. Recommendations will also result in higher salaries and better career progression for those taking the technical or vocational path.

Mr Mark Hall, general manager at Kelly Services Singapore, said: “This model has worked in other mature countries. The apprenticeship-programme is a proven model that validates real work experience and how it relates to their productivity. A company which is forward-thinking has no choice but to ensure that there is paid parity for someone who has the competence or talent to do the job particularly well." 

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia