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Pilot programme offers ITE College Central students exposure in ICT, engineering fields

Sep 01, 2016

TODAY, 1st September 2016

SINGAPORE — Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students in the information and communications technology (ICT) and engineering disciplines have a new avenue to experience working in leading firms such as Sakae Holdings, under a pilot programme launched on Thursday (Sept 1).

The initiative by nonprofit Social Innovation Park (SIP) and financial-services giant JP Morgan will also see 100 such students from ITE College Central acquiring skills in areas such as communications and project management through workshops and mentorships.

Recruitment will start next month and the programme is scheduled to start next year. Conducted over a year, the programme will run in conjunction with ITE’s core coursework.

Mr Chong Leong Fatt, deputy principal of development at ITE College Central, said students would be selected based on their areas of study and interest, and will be matched to suitable mentors.

Students keen to join the ICT and engineering trades or whom the college feels are “more prepared” for these vocations will be selected and matched to mentors.

The pilot will involve only students from ITE College Central, but Mr Chong said the programme would be extended to other ITE colleges, as well as those outside of the ICT and engineering disciplines.

Exposing students to the workplace would allow them to make more informed career choices, he added.

Speaking at the CSR and Social Innovators Forum, where the programme was launched on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said that beyond the Government’s approaches to social problems, such as subsidies, ground-up initiatives were critical.

This is because such initiatives hinged on human relationships built over time and the trust that arises from them, which no Government scheme can replicate, he added.

Adding that the incentives and penalties inherent in most Government schemes globally can “only go so far”, he said social science revealed that most individuals were motivated to act or change their behaviour based on intrinsic factors, such as doing what they find meaningful.

“You can only shape intrinsic motivations through interactions, relationships and the nudging that comes from expectations of each other through those relationships on the ground,” Mr Tharman said.

“That’s another reason why you really need ground-up networks and relationships to be developed. It’s what shapes the intrinsic motivations of people,” he said.

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