All ITE Year 2 students expected to do enhanced internships by 2020

Lee U-Wen 
The Business Times 
Nov 15, 2016

A total of 1,586 companies from across industries in Singapore now offer enhanced internship opportunities to students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

Since the enhanced internship programme was launched in January this year, more than 6,000 second-year students - from more than 60 per cent of ITE's 101 courses - have had work stints in various companies, with most lasting three to six months.

Giving an update on the programme on Monday, ITE said in a statement that all second-year students are expected to go for such internships by 2020.

An initiative under the national SkillsFuture movement, the internship programme builds better mentors and enables students to pick up skills; the internships are a component of full-time Nitec or Higher Nitec courses offered by ITE.

The students benefit from the structured training through a prescribed task list agreed on by ITE and the companies.

The list ensures that the students undertake meaningful work-based learning and deepen their skills set.

ITE director and chief executive officer Bruce Poh said the aim is to open up opportunities for students to work alongside experienced professionals in the industry.

"This will not only sharpen their skills, but will give them opportunities to learn both work skills and life skills.

"Through this enhanced internship, our students will be more prepared for their careers straight after graduation, and have a strong foundation to build their careers on."

On Monday, he joined members of the ITE board of governors on a visit to two of the companies taking part in the enhanced internship programme - NCS and ST Electronics (Info-Comm Systems).

The former has taken in 238 ITE interns so far, while the latter has accepted 42 to date.

NCS chief executive Chia Wee Boon said that having talents with the right knowledge and skills to develop smart-city solutions will be critical to realising Singapore's vision of becoming a smart nation.

"By virtue of its heritage as the largest employer of infocomm technology (ICT) professionals in Singapore, NCS has the added responsibility of building new blood in support of local ICT requirements and building a future-ready talent pool.

Therefore, we are committed to developing a long-term partnership with ITE to provide students with the opportunities to gain hands-on experience on ICT projects."

Lee Fook Sun, the president of ST Electronics, said students at his company experience a real work environment and pick up useful on-the-job training and skills under the guidance of experienced mentors.

"We will continue to work closely with ITE to provide relevant exposure for the students to enable them to make a better transition to work upon their graduation," he said.