New 'earn and learn' scheme launched for poly graduates in the energy and chemicals sector

Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung at the launch of SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme for the Energy and Chemicals sector on August 22.
Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung at the launch of SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme for the Energy and Chemicals sector on August 22. PHOTO: ONG YE KUNG / FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A programme that enables polytechnic graduates to learn as they work in the energy and chemicals sector was officially launched on Monday(Aug 22).

The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme for the energy and chemicals sector will help to build a pipeline of skilled manpower for the growing sector.

Participants who graduate from the 18-month programme will be exempted from selected modules if they later pursue related degrees at the National University of Singapore or Singapore Institute of Technology-Newcastle University. These programmes have also been launched for other sectors including aerospace and food manufacturing.

It is important to have SkillsFuture initiatives in the energy and chemicals sector, said Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung, who launched the programme on Monday morning.

This is because the sector is one of the "backbone industries" for Singapore, said Mr Ong during the launch event at Shell Eastern Petroleum on Pulau Bukom.

In 2015, output from the energy and chemicals sector accounted for nearly $282 billion or 29 per cent of Singapore's total manufacturing output. The sector currently hires more than 40,000 employees but is poised to grow further.

Under the programme, participants will attend lessons at Singapore Polytechnic, be trained on the job and get mentored by their employers. They will be paid a starting base salary of $1,400 to $2,000 per month with a shift allowance of $800 to $1,100.

They will graduate with an Advanced Diploma in Chemical Engineering awarded by Singapore Polytechnic.

One participant, Ms Kimberly Siar, 20, said the programme is a good opportunity for her to learn more about the sector.

Ms Siar, who graduated from Singapore Polytechnic's Diploma in Chemical Engineering this year, is currently a technical specialist at water treatment firm Hyflux.

"The clear job progression and structured training programme with mentoring from experienced professionals is a good way for me to start my career," she said.