New scheme to help young people, firms gain global exposure

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing encouraged young people to build up their skills and international knowledge through gaining overseas exposure. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing encouraged young people to build up their skills and international knowledge through gaining overseas exposure. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Overseas internships, management associate positions on offer

More support is now available for young people keen to work abroad and for companies to train their staff through stints overseas.

The Global Ready Talent programme announced in this year's Budget was launched yesterday by Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.

There are 60 local enterprises from industries like lifestyle and consumer, media, and manufacturing and engineering offering 110 overseas internship positions and 86 overseas management associate positions under the programme.

The Government aims to have 5,000 overseas placements over the next five years.

Mr Chan told around 100 students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics and local universities as well as about 130 business people at the launch event that the most competitive economy will be one that can master its talent best.

"We keep urging (enterprises) to innovate their products and processes, and expand their markets. But in order for the enterprises to do that well, talent is a critical enabler," he noted.

Mr Chan also encouraged young people to build up their skills and international knowledge through gaining overseas exposure.

"Live there... understand the intricacies of how other societies work and how they are similar or different from us," he said. "Once you have done that, the benefits will last a lifetime."

TALENT IS KEY

We keep urging (enterprises) to innovate their products and processes, and expand their markets. But in order for the enterprises to do that well, talent is a critical enabler.

MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INDUSTRY CHAN CHUN SING

 
 
 
 

Companies can receive up to 70 per cent funding for the allowances or salaries of participants.

They can offer local and overseas internship placements to students from ITE, polytechnics and local universities, or post fresh graduates or young employees with up to three years of work experience to markets in South-east Asia, China and India, under the management associate track, for at least one year.

Enterprise Singapore, which is running the scheme, will partner trade associations and chambers, and institutes of higher learning, to facilitate internship placements and evaluate companies which want to join the programme.

One company on board is business platform ollohub, which is offering six management associate positions in a joint venture with a Laotian company.

Mr Damien Lam, chief executive of ollohub, said he hopes the scheme will raise awareness among young Singaporeans about the need to look abroad.

Also, by lowering the costs of employing Singaporeans in developing countries in the region - where local workers earn much less - it should help convince the local partners there to hire Singaporeans.

"This will allow us to attract talent and grow our business faster," Mr Lam said.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic student Victoria Tan, 21, spoke at the launch event held at the National Gallery about her experience this year during an internship at fleet management start-up DRVR in Bangkok.

Ms Tan, a final-year psychology student, noted: "Through my internship, I gained practical skill sets like being able to negotiate deals and get partnerships, as well as networks, cultural intelligence, adaptability, which are skills I think employers are looking for.

"I hope to work overseas again before going to university because I have seen the sheer amount of growth you get when overseas."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2019, with the headline 'New scheme to help young people, firms gain global exposure'. Print Edition | Subscribe