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Kick-start your career

The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme is a work-learn programme that aims to give fresh graduates from polytechnics and ITEs a head start in their careers. PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme is a work-learn programme that aims to give fresh graduates from polytechnics and ITEs a head start in their careers. PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Carnival is a great place to learn about the career and education opportunities available to you

There’s no getting around it: competition in the workforce is intense. Whether you’re a graduate of a polytechnic or Institute of Technical Education (ITE), every extra bit of help counts towards getting a head start over the competition. 

Look no further than the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP). The ELP is a work-learn programme that gives fresh graduates from polytechnics and ITE a head-start in careers related to their discipline of study.

Need more convincing about the benefits of the ELP? Don’t just take it from us — get it straight from some of the participants in the ELP. 

Here are their stories: 


Mr Benedict See is currently completing his Specialist Diploma in Digital Media Production under the Earn and Learn Programme. PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Hollywood treasure

Name: Benedict See Wei Quan, 23
Education: Diploma in Motion Graphics and Design, Nanyang Polytechnic
ELP Scheme: Specialist Diploma in Digital Media Production 
Currently employed at: Video Technologies (Easy Video Singapore)

HOW DID YOU FIRST HEAR ABOUT THE ELP? 
I first heard about the ELP at an army talk back in May/June 2017, and it really piqued my interest — how many people get to study and work at the same time? 

HOW HAS THE ELP HELPED YOU LEARN SO FAR?
I’ve picked up a lot of new skills so far through the ELP, in terms of both soft and technical skills. In particular, I feel like I have learned a lot in terms of project management and negotiation. I’ve also learned a lot about production: learning how to manage and meet the needs of clients, set and adhere to timelines, as well as have contingencies in place.

In my role as a motion graphics artist, I help create videos and marketing collateral for clients, which has definitely helped expand my creative suite. 

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES HAS THE ELP GIVEN YOU SO FAR?
I’ve had the opportunity to help create videos for several well-known brand names like AIA, Citibank, AXA, A*STAR and Procter & Gamble. 

Within a year into the job, I was able to hone my leadership potential and capabilities when I was given the opportunity to lead a small team.

Keeping the world moving


Mr Feroz Khan Ahmad Khan moved from the food and beverage industry to supply chain management after his graduation from polytechnic, and has not looked back since. PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Name: Feroz Khan Ahmad Khan, 26
Education: Diploma in Supply Chain Management, Republic Polytechnic
ELP Scheme: Specialist Diploma in Supply Chain Management
Currently employed at: Pan Asia Logistics Singapore 

HOW DID YOU FIRST HEAR ABOUT THE ELP?
I wasn’t certain about which industry I wanted to join when I graduated. I had the option of returning to my native industry — food and beverage — but towards the end of my diploma course, I decided to get some perspective from my lecturers about how to enter the supply chain industry. My lecturers were enthusiastic about enrolling me into the ELP, so here I am today. 

HOW HAS THE ELP HELPED YOU SO FAR? 
The ELP has provided more than just a stepping stone into the supply chain industry!  It has provided me with better qualifications and given me an edge over my peers, as I started work at Pan Asia Logistics just one week after my graduation.

During the one-year programme, I gained a lot of valuable industry experience. I was exposed to everything in the industry from dangerous goods handling to fronting customers, freighting and even performance measurements. These experiences helped me understand the relevance of what I learned in both my diploma course and the Specialist Diploma in Supply Chain Management. I probably would not have gotten these opportunities if I had chosen to return to the food and beverage industry. 

Furthermore, my two years in Pan Asia Logistics has groomed me to be an effective and resourceful professional, leading a team of 25 people. This responsibility for their well-being and growth gives my job meaning, as I try my best to help them maximise their potential.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS?
I plan to pursue a degree in the logistics and supply chain fields as I am certainly keen to continue my career in the logistics sector!

Food, glorious food


Upon graduation from the ELP, Ms Chee Pei Yi hopes to become a researcher in the food R&D sector. PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Name: Chee Pei Yi, 20
Education: Diploma in Food Science and Technology, Singapore Polytechnic
ELP Scheme: Advanced Diploma in Applied Food Science 
Currently employed at: Ingredion Singapore 

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN THE ELP?
I’ve always been fascinated with food — I’ve loved cooking and baking ever since I was in primary school. At the end of Secondary 2, I made up my mind to pursue Food and Nutrition as an O-level subject, as I wanted to understand how nutrients and other substances in food contributed to human growth.

Choosing to pursue Singapore Polytechnic’s Diploma in Food Science and Technology was a natural progression for me after my O-level. Through this course, I was exposed to food innovation concepts, like packaging and extending the shelf life of processed food. 

The 20-week internship at Ingredion affirmed my decision to pursue the Advanced Diploma in Food Science. 

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES HAS THE ELP GIVEN TO YOU SO FAR? 
My internship at Ingredion Singapore saw me assisting technologists in the encapsulation technologies for a wide range of beverages and dry mixes. The best part is, I got to work on real-life projects for clients, an opportunity I didn’t have in polytechnic.

Today, I work in the company's bakery department as a food technologist, which is quite different from what I used to do — now my primary responsibility is developing innovative concepts to help our customers stay on trend to appeal to today's consumers. The experience from working in various departments has widened my exposure and knowledge in the food sector, which is always helpful. 

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS AFTER THE ELP?
On graduation from the ELP, I will receive three different certificates — the Certificate in Food Product Innovation, the Certificate in Food Processing, and the Certificate in Food Safety and Quality Management. These should help me secure a position as a researcher in the food R&D sector in the near future, fingers crossed!

Out at sea


Thanks to his traineeship with Keppel Offshore & Marine, Mr Frederick Yip is making waves in the marine industry. PHOTO: KEPPEL FELS

Name: Frederick Yip Yi Yang, 25
Education: Higher Nitec in Marine Offshore Technology, ITE College Central
ELP Scheme: Work-Learn Technical Diploma (WLTD) in Marine Offshore Engineering
Currently employed at: Keppel FELS

HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN THE ELP?
I first completed my Nitec in Medical Manufacturing Technology in 2010. When I was in NS, I received a letter from ITE about traineeship opportunities with Keppel Offshore & Marine, while simultaneously completing my Higher Nitec in Marine Offshore Technology. It seemed like a good opportunity to further my studies, so I took up the offer. That was the start of my journey in the industry, and I was amazed by how gigantic offshore rigs were built on small but crucial components. 

As the training progressed, I realised that there was a lot more to learn in the marine industry, so I jumped at the chance to join the WLTD programme, as I knew it would help me improve my skills and get work experience at the same time.

HOW HAS THE ELP HELPED YOU SO FAR?
Having been in this programme for three months so far, I appreciate the fact that the ELP gives students like myself a much greater understanding of what my job will be like in future. It also equips us with a very solid foundation in terms of skills and specialised knowledge. 

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS AFTER THE ELP?
I would love to continue my studies further because I believe it would better equip me with technical skills and deeper knowledge for my future career in this industry. 

Plan ahead

Interested to find out more? As part of the month-long SkillsFuture Festival 2018, the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Carnival 2018 will be held on 28 July at the Lifelong Learning Institute in Paya Lebar Central, from 10am to 2pm. 

More than 35 industry partners will be present at the Carnival to showcase their Earn and Learn Programme offerings, ranging from supply chain management to finance to engineering. Who knows? You just might find your ideal job there. 

Sign up here at www.eventbrite.sg/e/skillsfuture-earn-and-learn-carnival-2018-tickets-47129903811.

Supported by SSG, the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Carnival is organised by the five Polytechnics, the Institute of Technical Education, SIA Engineering Company, and the Technical University of Munich Asia.