Graduating from Polytechnic or ITE? Here’s How You Can Kickstart Your Career

graduating from polytechnic ITE singapore

Ask young Singaporeans about their career aspirations and you might come across this answer pretty often: “I want a job that lets me pursue my passion, plus opportunities to climb up the ranks. Just don’t ask me how to get there!”

Don’t call them dreamers. After all, who doesn’t want a job like that? It is achievable too – some 1,000 polytechnic and ITE graduates have already gotten one step closer to their aspirations by using the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme as a launchpad.

This work-learn programme gives fresh graduates from various polytechnic and ITE disciplines a head-start in their careers through a mix of on-the-job learning and classroom lessons, all while earning a full salary. Participants will be matched to jobs related to their area of study, and can get to work at MNCs or brand-name local companies such as Shell, Rolls-Royce, and Sakae Holdings. Sounds pretty good right?


How the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme works

If you’re a poly or ITE graduate, then this programme is for you. This is how this programme works:

  • The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme is open to fresh graduates from the polytechnics and ITE. You count as a fresh graduate if you graduated or obtained your ORD not more than 3 years ago from the programme commencement date.
  • You can apply for the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme related to your course of study. Visit the programme homepage for more information on the industries currently available and how to contact the application centres.
  • Upon successful application, you will be matched to a job at a participating employer, and will start your work-learn journey of 12 to 18 months.
  • On the job, you will be given training and assigned work-based projects to pick up crucial skills needed in the industry. You will also be paired with a mentor, who will guide you in your career and learning journey.
  • To complement your training at work, you are required to attend regular classroom lessons.
  • You get a sign-on incentive of $5,000 and receive a competitive starting salary. Only Singaporeans fresh graduates from the polytechnics and ITE are eligible.
  • Upon completion of the programme, you will receive certification such as a diploma, specialist diploma or advanced diploma that is recognized by the industry.
  • Depending on your job performance, you may also get to enjoy a raise and advance in your career.
  • If you are planning to further your studies after completing the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme, you may be able to use credits from the programme to get exemptions for relevant degree courses.


Spotlight on the most in-demand industries

Now that you know what the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme can do for you, check out these ELPs that lead to jobs in high-demand industries, so you can be hot property working in one of these roles:


1) Ground Operations Specialist

Key roles at every airport, Ground Operations Specialists and Passenger Services Agents ensure the smooth running of airport operations. Programme participants who have graduated from the ITE, can gain valuable work experience and skills by taking up Temasek Polytechnic’s Modular Certificate in Ground Operations and Modular Certificate in Airport Airside Operations.


2) Food Technologist

Part of the food manufacturing sector, food technologists create new food products or ensure the quality of existing ones. The Advanced Diploma in Applied Food Science by Singapore Polytechnic is a SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme designed to help students gain the necessary skills.


Profile Spotlight: Victor Choi, Product Development and Quality Assurance Technician, Leprino Foods

Victor Choi joined Leprino Foods, the world’s largest producer of mozzarella cheese and lactose, through the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme in 2016. His responsibilities include quality assurance and the development of new food products. As part of his work-based capstone project, he is developing flavoured retail string cheese for the Asia-Pacific market.

“The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme has enabled me to be able to become a better professional, and (my supervisor) Maureen has also been a very good mentor, giving me valuable advice throughout my one year journey,” Victor said of his experience so far.

“I will definitely be staying with Leprino and they have actually mapped out a very clear career path for me, so I’m really looking forward to that.”


3) Hotel Service Executive

Working at the frontlines of the hotel sector, hotel service executives manage responsibilities including attending to guest requests, playing a part to make Singapore a more attractive tourist destination. Republic Polytechnic offers the Specialist Diploma in Hospitality Business Management through the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme to train participants in the relevant skills.


4) Retail Management Trainee

Management trainees in the retail sector learn the ins-and-outs of the operations of a successful retail business, which include driving a store’s sales and service performance. Nanyang Polytechnic (Singapore Institute of Retails Studies) offers the WSQ Specialist Diploma in Retail Management through the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme.


5) Registered Nurse (Community Gerontology)

Geriatric nurses specialise in nursing care for older people and are in high demand as Singapore’s population continues to age. Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Specialist Diploma in Community Gerontology Nursing is designed to help aspiring nurses specialise in serving this growing group of patients.


6) Assistant Engineer (Precision Engineering)

In the precision engineering sector, assistant engineers adapt and apply engineering techniques to support the design, development and manufacture of machinery and components. Their responsibilities may also include machine repair and maintenance. SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme participants can hone their technical skills by taking up Nanyang Polytechnic’s Specialist Diploma in Precision Engineering.

For more information on the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme, visit the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn website.

Now that you know more about ELP, are there new ELPs you’d like to see? Tell us in the comments!