More than 370 companies to provide enhanced internships to ITE students

ITE board members talking to interns during a tour of their work place at Crown Plaza in Changi Airport.
ITE board members talking to interns during a tour of their work place at Crown Plaza in Changi Airport. ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

SINGAPORE - Some 110 companies have pledged their support to offer enhanced internships to students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

ITE signed agreements with these firms at a ceremony for enhanced internship participation at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport on Wednesday (Nov 18).

With the support, more than 370 companies will provide such internships - an initiative under the national SkillsFuture movement to encourage workers and students to develop industry-relevant skills - to ITE students.

These enhanced internships, with defined learning outcomes and better mentorship, are a component of full-time Nitec or Higher Nitec courses offered by the ITE, and will begin from January next year.

Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung noted that internships have long been a feature of vocational education in Singapore. He added that students get to learn in a real industry environment and gain experience.

A pilot run of the enhanced internship programme is currently being carried out on two courses - the Nitec in retail services and the Higher Nitec in space design technology.

Next year, nearly two-third of all ITE's courses, from the schools of business and services, engineering, info-comm technology, electronics, design and media, hospitality, and applied and health sciences, will offer enhanced internships. This means an estimated 7,000 placements with industry partners.

By 2020, all ITE courses will have enhanced internships, with durations ranging from three to six months.

ITE chief executive Bruce Poh said such internships will expose students to the workplace and deepen their skills in their chosen fields.

"It will better prepare our students for their transition to the workplace, and help them to develop their full potential in their careers later, based on skills mastery," he added.