More help for students to learn and earn

Students and graduates of polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will soon find it easier to find information about and be matched with job vacancies under a programme that lets them work and study at the same time.

The Earn and Learn Programme (ELP), where participants undergo on-the-job training while studying for a diploma or degree, will launch an online portal early next year.

This one-stop portal will allow students and graduates on the ELP to find information on programmes and jobs they are interested in and apply directly to participating employers on the same website.

It is among a slew of enhancements to the ELP scheme, which started in 2015, announced by the polytechnics, ITE and SkillsFuture Singapore yesterday.

SkillsFuture Singapore is working with institutes of higher learning and employers to launch seven new ELPs in areas such as tech entrepreneurship, food manufacturing, robotics and automation, and the industrial Internet of Things.

Senior Minister of State for Education Janil Puthucheary announced these additions at the inaugural ELP Carnival yesterday at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. He said the range of courses offered under the ELP scheme has broadened since its launch.

"From 2015 to 2017, the number of ELPs has grown from 15 in 12 sectors to 62 in 28 sectors," said Dr Janil. "To date, more than 1,200 polytechnic and ITE graduates have benefited from the ELP."

EASING RETURN TO WORK

Taking part in the ELP served as a refresher course, giving me a smoother transition from national service to (life as) a civilian with a full-time job.

MR DAVE LIM, on the Earn and Learn Programme.

For Mr Dave Lim, 23, the ELP was a chance to deepen his knowledge and kick-start his career even as he was studying. He took up a specialist diploma in sustainable facilities management from Ngee Ann Polytechnic last year after his national service. He had graduated from the same polytechnic in 2014 with a diploma in hotel management.

"My first diploma provided me the basics required to start my career, but due to the two years of national service, it was difficult for me to recall my past knowledge and apply it to my job as an executive," he said.

"Taking part in the ELP served as a refresher course, giving me a smoother transition from national service to (life as) a civilian with a full-time job."

The ELP also benefits industry partners who find it useful as a recruiting tool. Mr Tan Wong Tong, senior vice-president of human resources at ST Logistics, said: "Logistics companies face tremendous challenges recruiting diploma holders into the industry. Through the programme, our company can have a pipeline of talent joining us."

•Additional reporting by Shaffiq Idris Alkhatib

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 19, 2017, with the headline 'More help for students to learn and earn'. Print Edition | Subscribe