90 young talents received study awards under the small and medium enterprises (SME) Talent Programme at the inaugural SME Talent Programme Award Ceremony 2014 on Friday.
Launched in June 2013, the SME Talent Programme aims to entice local students from polytechnics and Institutes of Technical Education (ITEs) to join SMEs.
The programme, "helps companies identify students with potential and interest" and "helps students with career progression" said Mr Fian Fazlie, an ITE graduate who is now an operations coordinator in Amore Fitness, a health and wellness company.
The awards provide sponsorship of studies, a sign-on bonus and a job at participating SMEs. These are co-sponsored by Spring Singapore and the SMEs.
"Having a talent attraction and development framework would better equip the SMEs to identify, attract and retain good people," said Mr Tan Kai Hoe, chief executive of Spring Singapore.
From a pool of over 300 applicants, these 90 students have been matched to 45 SMEs.
Over 100 SMEs from various industries in Singapore participated in the programme, including lighting firm AVLite, mechanical engineering firm Fujicon Engineering and food and beverage company Katrina Holdings.
The guest of honour at the event, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck praised SMEs for being nimble and more responsive to market changes and said "Opportunities are vast for all...who choose to join SMEs".
He also announced plans by Spring Singapore to expand the SME Talent Programme to cover student internships, student projects with SMEs and fresh university graduates who wish to join SMEs by streamlining existing Spring Singapore programmes.
The streamlining is expected to be completed by April 2014.
With these new enhancements, SME Talent Programme hopes to place 4,000 students in SMEs within the next five years.