SINGAPORE - About 3,200 students have gone on overseas stints in the past three years under a government scheme to prepare them for global careers.
The Young Talent Programme, run by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, is open to students at local universities, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education.
The stints are to give them overseas exposure and market immersion so that they can help drive the national push for local businesses to go global, and play bigger roles in overseeing global markets.
The programme, launched in 2013 for university students, was extended to the polytechnics in 2015 and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) last year.
Since 2015, about 1,900 university students and more than 1,100 polytechnic and 200 ITE students have used the programme, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Low Yen Ling said in Parliament on Tuesday (Nov 7).
Ms Low also gave figures of another IE Singapore programme that funds skills training to help Singaporeans navigate complex overseas markets.
The SkillsFuture Study Award for International Business has supported 432 people since it was launched in October 2015, she said in her reply to Ms Sun Xueling (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC).
"(The Education Ministry) recognises the benefits overseas programmes bring. These experiences help young Singaporeans develop a global perspective, a healthy respect for other cultures, greater independence and adaptability to new environments," she added.
All Institutes of Higher Learning also have overseas programmes such as academic exchanges with foreign partner universities, community service projects and internships or industrial attachments.
Ms Low said more than one-quarter of ITE students, nearly half of polytechnic students and close to two-thirds of university students had participated in an overseas programme.
The ministry also works with the institutions to help them gain access to countries their students are interested in, she added.
She also said, in response to a question, that education and career guidance counsellors, found in all schools, meet industry practitioners and government agencies regularly to stay up-to-date on emerging trends, career pathways and skills in demand.
The counsellors attend monthly industry-sharing sessions with private and public sector organisations. They include the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore which talked about job opportunities in Terminals 4 and 5, LinkedIn, the Health Ministry and the Action Community for Entrepreneurship.
More than 24 sessions had been organised in the past two years, she added.