2,800 companies step up to offer 19,000 traineeships for new grads

About 2,800 companies have stepped up to offer over 19,000 traineeships for new graduates as part of initiatives to help them enter the workforce, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said yesterday.

"While these traineeships may not be the same as a job, they will help young graduates to build networks, skillsets and resumes. This, in turn, will stand them in good stead in landing a permanent role when the hiring demand picks up," Mrs Teo said in a Facebook post.

Applications for traineeships under the SGUnited Traineeships Programme opened on June 1.

A virtual career fair will be held later this month.

In a previous update on May 31, Mrs Teo had said that over 1,000 organisations had offered more than 11,000 traineeships for graduating students.

Mrs Teo spoke with fresh graduates from the Institute of Technical Education, polytechnics and universities in a virtual conference yesterday.

She noted in her post that while the students acknowledged that the job market has become less favourable, they were not despondent.

Rather, they were curious about the programme, whether host companies would take trainees seriously and how they could best position themselves for sought-after jobs, she said.

Mrs Teo added that the Ministry of Manpower is working with host organisations on two key aspects: exposing trainees to different companies and their networks, and offering a variety of roles for selection.

Both large and small firms were approached by Workforce Singapore to get on board the traineeship programme.

A variety of roles, ranging from familiar ones in info-communications, engineering and marketing to more niche positions such as funeral director assistant, junior designer and food technologist have been curated, she added.

"Such opportunities will allow our graduates to experience working in different industries and gain clarity on what they may want to pursue later in life," Mrs Teo said.

In her post, she encouraged graduates and those thinking of switching career paths to stay "open-minded and resilient" and to tap the traineeship programme to achieve their longer-term or new career goals.

Choo Yun Ting

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2020, with the headline 2,800 companies step up to offer 19,000 traineeships for new grads. Subscribe