Singapore and Germany inked seven memorandums of understanding (MOUs) in the areas of vocational training and education during President Halimah Yacob's five-day state visit to the country.
The latest one, signed yesterday in Frankfurt, was between the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and German electronics company Rohde & Schwarz.
Under the five-year agreement, Rohde & Schwarz will provide industrial exchanges for up to 10 ITE students annually in one of its Singapore production facilities, and either its Memmingen or Teisnach facilities in Germany.
ITE will also provide an educational exchange for up to 10 Rohde & Schwarz apprentices.
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said the German-speaking part of Europe has a very strong tradition in vocational and apprenticeship training. He also made the point that about 70 per cent of each cohort in Singapore goes through vocational education in either the polytechnics or ITE.
"Which is why I think we are kindred spirits, we are learning more from them, I think, than they from us in this aspect," he said.
The first batch of ITE students was hosted at Rohde & Schwarz's Memmingen facility in June.
The second batch, who were at the MOU signing at the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera hotel and met Madam Halimah, spent a week at the company's facility in the German city of Teisnach this month.
Among them was ITE first-year aerospace machining technology student Danniel Chong, 17, who aspires to be a military aircraft engineer. He said he enjoyed the exchange as it exposed him to the electronics field, which he was not familiar with previously. "I will definitely recommend this programme to my juniors," he added.
Madam Halimah, whose state visit ended yesterday, said she enjoyed interacting with the students who have been experiencing first-hand Germany's dual education system, which sees companies and educational institutions working in tandem to teach students over a period of about three years.
Madam Halimah returns to Singapore today.
Correction note: An earlier version of this story said Rohde & Schwarz is providing industrial attachments for up to 10 ITE students. It also said the ITE students spent two weeks at the company's facility in Teisnach. Both are incorrect. Rohde & Schwarz are providing industrial exchanges, and the students spent a week at their Teisnach facility. We are sorry for the error.