SINGAPORE - Ms Shivaani Rajendran graduated from Republic Polytechnic with a diploma in hospitality last May amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Seeing the severe impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the hospitality industry, the 22-year-old decided to pursue her second interest: social work.
But her job search was fraught with difficulties. Ms Shivaani sent out 20 to 30 applications for full-time roles as a teaching aide in special education schools, but received no replies.
"The full-time jobs required either having prior experience or a diploma in social services. I had neither. So I decided to apply for an SGUnited traineeship," she said on Tuesday (Feb 16).
She received a one-year traineeship offer as a teaching aid from St Andrew's Autism Centre, a non-profit organisation. She gets a training allowance of $1,500 a month.
The SGUnited Traineeships Programme was introduced last year to help fresh graduates from universities and polytechnics boost their employability when hiring demand picks up after the pandemic.
Ms Shivaani, who is now six months into her traineeship, said she is grateful for the traineeship opportunity.
"I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything because I'm on a traineeship and not a full-time job," she said, adding that she feels more confident about being able to find a full-time position in the industry once she completes the traineeship.
Ms Shivaani said she would recommend to recent graduates struggling to find full-time jobs that they consider taking up a SGUnited traineeship.
"It's a good eye-opener," she added.