SINGAPORE: More than half, or 55 per cent, of Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduates work in jobs related to their course of study, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Low Yen Ling revealed in Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 6).
The figures highlighted were based on results from the 2016 Graduate Employment Survey, she said.
Ms Low said that beyond receiving training for entry into specific industries or related jobs, ITE graduates are also equipped with transferable skills.
“This gives them greater adaptability as national manpower needs shift due to technological change and economic restructuring,” Ms Low said.
She also provided more details of internship programmes for ITE students, saying internship modules are now compulsory for 68 of 98 courses. This translates to more than half of full-time ITE students having done an internship by the time they graduate.
Ms Low said ITE is targetting for all full-time NITEC and Higher NITEC courses to offer internships by 2020. She said ITE matches students’ internships based on factors such as course of study, interests and their place of residence.
Ms Low also responded to a question by MP Saktiandi Supaat on resources allocated to the Education and Career Guidance (ECG) programme rolled out some two years ago to encourage more ITE students to take up internships.
She said there are now 100 ECG counsellors for polytechnics, ITEs and secondary schools, with each ITE and polytechnic campus assigned six counsellors. The remaining counsellors are assigned to secondary schools, where each counsellor sees to the needs of four secondary schools.
Ms Low said counsellors are recruited based on their “rich” industry experience and attend monthly briefings and training in a bid to update their professional development. At ITE for example, they also work closely with lecturers to set the right expectation and guidelines for students.
“Even during the internship, ITE lecturers will pay regular visits to students to make sure learning outcomes are fulfilled," Ms Low said.
"After an internship, we will conduct a feedback survey to understand if the experience has fulfilled learning objectives outlined before the internship.
"Through our survey, we may cease partnership with companies that have breached terms of the internship partnership agreement or have consistently received poor student outcome. So the welfare, the learning outcome of the student is at the heart of our ITE internship programme.”