Employment numbers of polytechnic graduates are much higher

We thank Mr Louis Peh Chwee Hoe for his letter ("Help young S'poreans attain basic goals"; Feb 16).

In it, he cited that "only about 56 per cent of the class of 2016 were able to secure full-time employment". The figure refers only to fresh graduates.

For a fuller picture of the employment outcomes of polytechnic graduates, we need to include post-national service (NS) graduates as well, for whom the full-time permanent employment rate was around 70 per cent.

Taken together, the full-time permanent employment rate for polytechnic graduates who entered the workforce last year was around 61 per cent.

The 2016 Polytechnic Graduate Employment Survey conducted by the polytechnics also showed that another 31 per cent of our graduates were employed, though not in full-time permanent jobs.

The large majority of them chose to do freelance or part-time work while they prepared for further studies or to start their own businesses.

The overall employment rate of our polytechnic graduates - which sums up the full-time permanent, part-time, temporary or freelance employment rates - remained high at 92 per cent last year. Our polytechnic graduates also continue to command good salaries.

These indicate that they continue to be valued in the job market.

Benjamin Koh (Dr)
Divisional Director, Higher Education Policy Division
Ministry of Education

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2017, with the headline 'Employment numbers of polytechnic graduates are much higher'. Print Edition | Subscribe