Five retailers — Charles & Keith, Cold Storage, Isetan, StarHub and Wing Tai Retail — signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today (Jan 26) with ITEs and the five polytechnics in Singapore.
The integrated programme will combine the existing Enhanced Internship curriculum and the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme. Students will go through five to six months of Enhanced Internship, and, after graduation, another 12 months of training under the Earn and Learn Programme — which is shorter than the 18 months offered now.
Workplace Development Agency (WDA) chief executive Ng Cher Pong said: “The integration will boost employers’ efforts in identifying, attracting and developing skilled local talent. Both initiatives work in tandem to better match polytechnic and ITE students with employers in their fields of study.”
The retail sector is the first to offer this integrated programme. A WDA spokesperson said it would work with post-secondary education institutes to roll out the integrated programme in other sectors.
Separately, 11 retailers, including Giordano and NTUC FairPrice, signed another MOU to offer Enhanced Internships to retail students.
It was announced last year that Enhanced Internships would be offered to second- or third-year polytechnic or ITE students, and by 2020, all polytechnic and ITE courses will offer this.
Nanyang Polytechnic deputy principal Henry Heng expects about 80 to 100 students from the first cohort to benefit from the integrated programme, out of the 500 students in the retail discipline across ITEs and polytechnics.
Dairy Farm human resource director Jocelyn Chan said that Cold Storage interns, under the integrated programme, would get corporate training in areas such as logistics and finance. Right now, polytechnic interns work for eight to 12 weeks and cover two major departments. Ms Chan said: “It’s always good to have an overall, holistic view of retail operations… it’s not just merchandising and operating stores.”
Wing Tai Retail executive director Helen Khoo said students would be rotated to have experience from sales planning to store supervision. “We want to build a pipeline of talent to join retail — not necessarily to stay with us forever, but to raise the professionalism of the industry,” she said.
Meanwhile, more than 120 students have been placed in Earn and Learn Programmes across all sectors as of end-Sept 2015.
news source & image credits: todayonline.com