New earn-and-learn course in hotel industry for ITE grads

Mr Mohamed Aslam Mohd Rafeek, 26, and Ms Charlene Chong, 20, at Republic Polytechnic's "hotel lab" training facility. They are participants in a SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme for the hotel sector. The course opens to ITE graduates from Octobe
Mr Mohamed Aslam Mohd Rafeek, 26, and Ms Charlene Chong, 20, at Republic Polytechnic's "hotel lab" training facility. They are participants in a SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme for the hotel sector. The course opens to ITE graduates from October.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

Institute of Technical Education graduates will soon be able to study the new part-time Diploma in Business Practice (Hospitality Management) under the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP), which was officially launched for the hotel sector yesterday.

The one-year work-study programme is offered at Republic Polytechnic and combines on-the-job training, projects and mentoring with classroom and online learning.

ELPs are being set up gradually across different sectors and the one for hotels was launched at the poly yesterday by Ms Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Trade and Industry. It is now open to polytechnic graduates with diplomas in hospitality management and related fields, but opens to ITE graduates from October.

"We want to groom local talent to take on leadership roles, improve job quality and identify emerging skill needs so as to build a future- ready workforce," said Ms Low.

Although the ELP for the hotel sector was launched yesterday, the first course began last month with 48 fresh diploma graduates - the largest intake for an ELP since being introduced in March last year.

They have already been placed with 26 of the 54 hotel partners, and started work last month.

Participants work four days a week at a hotel and attend one day of class at the polytechnic. Hotels can choose to retain the students after they graduate.

Ms Isis Ong, director of learning at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, said: "They are very focused, enthusiastic and forthcoming in their suggestions and pick things up faster as they've done it before."

Classes at Republic poly include training at a "hotel lab" equipped with a full suite of front- and back-of-house hotel facilities.

Participants will graduate with a Specialist Diploma in Hospitality Business Management.

ELP student Charlene Chong, 20, who works in the food and beverage department at Conrad Centennial Singapore hotel, said: "The ELP is a very targeted way of improving my skills in this industry."

Singaporeans who take up this ELP get a sign-on bonus of $5,000.

Some 290 placements for the programme are projected for the next three years.

Felicia Choo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2016, with the headline 'New earn-and-learn course in hotel industry for ITE grads'. Print Edition | Subscribe