Singapore

More courses for ITE, poly and uni grads to boost job chances

ITE will launch about 250 courses, polys and unis will offer about 100 each

Graduates from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics and universities will soon be able to apply for new courses that offer additional professional certificates - advanced diploma certificates, post-diploma certificates or postgraduate certificates.

ITE will launch about 250 courses while polytechnics and universities will offer about 100 courses each, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said in an interview with Mediacorp radio station CNA938 yesterday.

Registration and admission will begin this month and could stretch to August, he added.

The courses will run for three to six months.

Encouraging graduates to choose courses that could "stretch their versatility", Mr Ong said: "For example, if I am an arts graduate, I may want to do something in IT, because to know arts and IT - that is something interesting.

"If you are an engineer, maybe do something in writing, communications, or learn a third language even."

The minister was speaking about options available for graduates seeking jobs this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

LEARNING FOR LIFE

Graduating students entering the job market during a recession can have two different reactions, he said.

"One is, you will say, 'Why am I so suay (Hokkien for unlucky)?'

"But there is another way to look at it, which is that this is actually an opportunity.

"We know now learning is for life and you don't have to have one path or course in university, poly or ITE, and then pursue that one career throughout your life without any change... A career will be full of twists and turns and you have to constantly learn and relearn.

"What is very important, is whatever you learn must form your human capital, your personal skills base, and you keep on adding to it.

"That, I think, is the mindset that is most needed now for all our graduates."

When future employers ask graduates what they were doing in 2020, the year of the pandemic, they should "have a good story to tell", said Mr Ong.

Be it taking up extra courses, doing volunteer work and helping those in need, or even becoming a swabber and contributing to the fight against Covid-19, these are valuable learning opportunities that will count, he added.

Various measures and programmes have been rolled out for graduating students unable to find a job this year.

Among these are the SGUnited Traineeships programme under which paid placements will be available, including at local universities and start-ups, as well as free continuing education and training modules offered by the six autonomous universities.

Employment