Enhanced Internships to Benefit ITE Students

Enhanced internships will be offered to almost two-thirds of all Institute of Technical Education (ITE) courses starting 2016, said Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung on Thursday (18 Nov).

A SkillsFuture initiative, these internships are a component of full-time Nitec or Higher Nitec courses. 

Mr Ong noted that internships act as a starting point for students to explore vocations which they are interested in.

From as early as January, a total of 63 out of 101 ITE courses (including retail services and space design technology) will offer such internships. All ITE courses will have such internships ranging from three to six months by 2020.

“We can do as much as we like to make classroom learning as authentic as possible, but there is nothing like working in a real environment", said ITE chief executive Bruce Poh.

He also added that internships allow students to apply work-related skills learnt in school, and help them acquire soft skills such as creativity. 

Students will undergo training based on tasks agreed by ITE and the internship firm. The roles and responsibilities of ITE and these companies will also be stated clearly.

Over 370 companies will offer placements. Of these, some 110 from hospitality, engineering and infocomm technology sectors signed agreements with ITE at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport hotel on Thursday (18 Nov). These include Fullerton Hotel, OCBC Bank, Crowne Plaza Changi Airport hotel and SMRT.

Mr Sunshine Wong, general manager of Crowne Plaza Changi Airport hotel, said that internships in the past only brought students “through the basics” and added that interns may soon be able to sit in management meetings to gain exposure to the hotel’s operations.

Ms Cynthia Yong, a student pursuing a Higher Nitec in hospitality operations, is on a six-month internship at the hotel. She said that “the internship exposes us to real-world situations”, and “there are often learning points to gain from unexpected challenges that may arise”.

Source: “ITE students to gain from enhanced internships”, (The Straits Times, 19 November 2015).

Photo Source: The Straits Times. Copyright © 2015 Singapore Press Holdings. Reprinted with Permission.

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