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APPLIED STUDY IN POLYTECHNICS
AND ITE REVIEW (ASPIRE) Report
August 2014

The text in this document may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium provided it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. The material must be attributed to the Ministry of Education, Singapore with the title of this document clearly specified. August 2014

22 August 2014 Mr Heng Swee Keat Minister for Education Dear Minister, In November 2013, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that an Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (ASPIRE) Committee would be set up to examine how to strengthen the applied education pathway in our polytechnics and ITE, and to propose feasible strategies to achieve this. progression prospects. 2. The ASPIRE Committee began its work in January this year. In This was to ensure that our polytechnic and ITE graduates have good career and academic

drawing up our recommendations, the committee was mindful of the good work already being done by our polytechnics and ITE, in developing and training students who possess job-relevant skills and expertise. Our approach was to build upon the foundation already in place to bring polytechnic and ITE education to a new level. deep skills are the key to success in the years ahead. 3. We also believe that opportunities for academic and career In so doing, we were guided by the conviction that knowledge coupled with

progression should be accessible to all, regardless of their starting point, and must be accompanied by the provision of adequate support to cater to diverse backgrounds and abilities. A further guiding principle was that there should be a strong alignment between education in our polytechnics and ITE and what industry and businesses need, and that industry and employers must be a part of this process.

4.

The recommendations in this report have incorporated the

views of a wide range of stakeholders, gathered through our engagement sessions and industry visits, and have also been informed by our insights from overseas study trips. 5. Our recommendations focus on four key areas: ? First, we must enable our young Singaporeans to make wellinformed choices about their education and career pathways. This is critical for every Singaporean to maximise his or her potential, based on his or her strengths, interests and opportunities. To do so, we must strengthen our education and career guidance significantly. ? Second, we must equip our young Singaporeans with a good skills foundation so that they are equipped to face changes and to seize the opportunities that come with them. We will need to build upon the successful education and training system in our polytechnics and ITE, particularly by working more closely with industry in the development of applied programmes. ? Third, we must enable individuals to better acquire the right skills that help them do well in their careers. various learning options can be To do this, to help introduced

polytechnic and ITE students deepen their skills after graduation. ? Fourth, we must develop multiple pathways for capable individuals to progress based on their skills, contributions, and experience. To achieve this, we recommend developing skills frameworks, and offering more modular Continuing Education and Training (CET) opportunities.

6.

We believe that our recommendations will further strengthen

Singapore’s applied education landscape, provide more opportunities for Singaporeans to realise their full potential and to progress, as well as better align the supply of and demand for skills so that Singapore will continue to prosper and be a land of hope and opportunity for everyone in the years ahead. 7. We are honoured to have had the opportunity to be part of

this endeavour and submit herewith the Committee’s report to the Government for its consideration.

Yours sincerely,

INDRANEE RAJAH (MS) CHAIRMAN, STEERING COMMITTEE APPLIED STUDY IN POLYTECHNICS AND ITE REVIEW ASPIRE Steering Committee Members:

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ Mr Jonathan Asherson Regional Director ASEAN and Pacific Rolls-Royce Singapore Pte Ltd Mr Boo Kheng Hua Principal & Chief Executive Officer Temasek Polytechnic

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ Mr Gonzalo Ruiz Calavera Senior Executive Vice President Head of Human Resources, Asia/Australia Siemens Pte Ltd Ms Chan Lai Fung Permanent Secretary (Education) Ministry of Education

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ Mr Chan Lee Mun Principal & Chief Executive Officer Nanyang Polytechnic Prof Cheong Hee Kiat President SIM University

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ Mr Chia Mia Chiang Principal Ngee Ann Polytechnic [until 31 March 2014] President Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts [w.e.f. 1 April 2014] Mr Choo Chiau Beng Senior Advisor Keppel Corporation Limited

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ Mr Douglas Foo Executive Chairman Sakae Holdings Ltd Mr Markus Froehlich Managing Director Nestlé R&D Center (Pte) Ltd Singapore

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ Ms Ho Peng Director-General of Education Ministry of Education Mr R Jayachandran Chairman Olam International Ltd

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ Ms Ayesha Khanna Chief Executive Officer Technology Quotient Dr Lim Boon Huat Managing Director Rohde & Schwarz Asia Pte Ltd

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ Mr Loh Khum Yean Permanent Secretary Ministry of Manpower Ms Olivia Lum Executive Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer Hyflux Ltd

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ Mr Ng Cher Pong Chief Executive Singapore Workforce Development Agency A/Prof Benjamin Ong Director of Medical Services Ministry of Health

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ Mrs Ow Foong Pheng Permanent Secretary Ministry of Trade and Industry Mr Pradeep Pant President, Pant Consulting Pte Ltd

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ Mr Pek Lian Guan Chief Executive Officer Tiong Seng Holdings Ltd Mr Bruce Poh Geok Huat Director & Chief Executive Officer Institute of Technical Education

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ Dr Huck Poh General Manager, Pulau Bukom Manufacturing Site & Manufacturing Director Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd Mr Suhaimi Rafdi Chief Executive Officer Cathay Organisation Holdings Ltd

_____________________________________ ____________________________________ Mr Joshua Soh Managing Director, Singapore & Brunei Cisco Systems (USA) Pte Ltd Mr Tan Choon Shian Principal & Chief Executive Officer Singapore Polytechnic

_____________________________________ ____________________________________ Mr Gary Tan Managing Director, Head of Financial Markets, Singapore Standard Chartered Bank Mr Tan Kai Hoe Chief Executive SPRING Singapore

_____________________________________ ____________________________________ Mr Tan Puay Hin Regional Chief Executive Officer (Southeast Asia) PSA International Pte Ltd Prof Tan Thiam Soon President Singapore Institute of Technology

_____________________________________ ____________________________________ Prof Raj. Thampuran Managing Director Agency for Science, Technology and Research Mr Clarence Ti Chief Executive Vital, Ministry of Finance [until 30 Apr 2014] Principal Ngee Ann Polytechnic [w.e.f. 1 May 2014]

_____________________________________ ____________________________________ Mr Yeo Li Pheow Principal/Chief Executive Officer Republic Polytechnic Mr Yeoh Keat Chuan Managing Director Singapore Economic Development Board

5. Many parties will need to work together to implement these recommendations successfully. The Government will expand the role of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency to coordinate various industry engagement efforts, which will be crucial to the implementation of the key ASPIRE recommendations. The Government will also set up a tripartite committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam to look into the integration of education, training and career pathways, so as to enable our people to achieve their potential.

6. These changes will take time, but are necessary. The government is fully committed to working with all stakeholders to implement them, so that we maintain the high quality of applied education offered by our polytechnics and ITE, and in so doing ensure that Singaporeans and Singapore continue to have a bright future in the years to come. The critical shifts that we envision will shape not just our economy but our society as well, and will position Singapore well for many years ahead even as we celebrate our first 50 years as a nation.

Yours sincerely,

HENG SWEE KEAT

CONTENTS
Page The ASPIRE Journey Acknowledgements Executive Summary Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2 : Helping Students Make Well-informed Education and Career Choices ? Recommendation 1: Strengthen Education and Career Guidance (ECG) in Schools, Polytechnics and ITE Chapter 3: Strengthening Education and Training in Polytechnics and ITE ? Recommendation 2: Enhance internships at the polytechnics and ITE ? Recommendation 3: Increase Nitec to Higher Nitec progression opportunities ? Recommendation 4: Establish polytechnic and ITE leads for each key industry sector ? Recommendation 5: Expand online learning opportunities ? Recommendation 6: Provide more development and support programmes for students Chapter 4: Helping Polytechnic and ITE Students Deepen Skills Post-Graduation ? Recommendation 7: Launch new programmes that integrate study and work, such as place-and-train programmes ? Recommendation 8: Increase post-diploma Continuing Education and Training (CET) opportunities at our polytechnics ? Recommendation 9: Support vocation-based deployments during National Service (NS) 3 5 7 11

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21 21 22 23 24 25

28 28

30

31

1

Chapter 5: Helping Polytechnic and ITE Graduates Progress in their Careers ? Recommendation 10: Develop sector-specific skills frameworks and career progression pathways in collaboration with industry Chapter 6 : Conclusion

32 32

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Annex A: Composition of the ASPIRE Committee Annex B: Summary of Feedback from Engagement Sessions

2

The ASPIRE Journey 1. At the official opening ceremony of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Headquarters and ITE College Central in November 2013, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted the need to strengthen the applied education pathways in the polytechnics and ITE to ensure that their graduates have good career and academic progression prospects. The Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (ASPIRE) Committee, chaired by Senior Minister of State for Law and Education, Ms Indranee Rajah, began its work in January 2014. The Committee was tasked to study how applied education in the polytechnics and ITE could be enhanced by: ? Better matching students’ strengths and interests to applied education pathways to enable them to maximise their potential; ? Exploring deeper school-industry collaborations so that polytechnic and ITE students can learn deep skills and enjoy better career progression; and ? Enhancing industry partnerships to raise the quality of teaching and learning for polytechnic and ITE students. The overall objective of the review was to secure better outcomes and opportunities for our polytechnic and ITE graduates.

2.

3.

3

4.

The ASPIRE Committee comprises: ? ? ? A Steering Committee which provided overall direction and guidance; Three Review Committees which studied various aspects in depth; and An Engagement Committee which reached out to all the stakeholders. A diverse group of stakeholders including industry players, education leaders and government officials with a range of expertise and educational backgrounds was invited to participate in the review. Committee is in Annex A. From the start, the Committee recognised that education was very important to Singaporeans, who see it as key to unlocking the opportunities in life and securing a good future. We canvassed views widely, reaching out to about 20,000 stakeholders, including about 12,000 polytechnic students, 5,000 ITE students, 3,000 parents and alumni, and close to 400 polytechnic and ITE staff, through dialogue sessions, focus group discussions, a Townhall and surveys. The main themes that emerged can be found in Annex B. In addition, the Committee visited Germany, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand to study their applied education models. The engagement feedback and study trip findings helped shape the Committee’s thinking and final recommendations. The composition of the ASPIRE

5.

6.

7.

4

Acknowledgements We would like to thank the following parties who have helped shape our recommendations with their thoughts, insights, feedback, and active support: ? Students, parents, alumni, educators and employers who actively participated in the dialogue sessions, focus group discussions and Townhall, and inspired us with their commitment to education and training. ? Members of the public, who gave us valuable comments, feedback and food for thought through the various online and offline platforms, affirming how important education is to all Singaporeans. ? Community and Parents in Support of Schools (COMPASS), Reaching Everyone for Active Citizenry at Home (REACH), and the Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) who helped organised panel sessions with various stakeholders. ? Employers who took the time to host us at their workplaces and shared with us their best practices and the challenges they face today in skills development. ? The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), who gave us their invaluable input from both the employees’ and employers’ perspectives. ? The Ministry of Trade & Industry, Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Health, Ministry of National Development, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Public Service Division,

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Singapore

Workforce

Development

Agency,

Building

&

Construction Authority, Early Childhood Development Agency, Singapore Economic Development Board, SPRING Singapore, Energy Market Authority, and other public sector agencies, for useful context and contributing valuable insights and ideas. ? Our hosts at the various ministries, education institutions and private sector organisations that we visited during our study trips to Germany, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand, for helping us identify the key elements and success factors of their respective education systems, and for generously sharing with us how they do things and the fruits and challenges of their efforts. ? Students from the polytechnics and ITE who worked on the ASPIRE logo design and helped us reach out to their peers to publicise ASPIRE through publicity, marketing and media projects. This report would not have been possible without your valuable contributions.

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Executive Summary Our polytechnic and ITE system has been successful in enabling students to develop themselves and fulfil their potential. and the careers pursued by its students. Its main strength is the emphasis on applied learning and its relevance to work However, to meet the demands of the future and the aspirations of our students, the system must continue to evolve in an innovative and dynamic fashion. All Singaporeans should have opportunities to realise their potential and progress in life, no matter what their starting point. opportunities can only come about with a strong economy. Such The

recommendations focus on equipping our polytechnic and ITE graduates for the future so that they can seize opportunities and realise their aspirations. We must support young Singaporeans to acquire the skills that they need to do well in their careers. In order to do so, we must create a strong skills system and industry linkages that support the alignment of the skills individuals have with what the job market needs. developments. We must create good skills-based progression pathways, help students and working adults make well-informed education and career choices, support learning on the job, and promote Continuing Education and Training (CET). achieve these outcomes. We need the right mind-sets so that everyone and every job is valued, employers take ownership of skills development, and lifelong learning is embraced. We should build on our strong polytechnic and ITE system and our unique tripartite system to The education system must also evolve to keep pace with global

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These changes will require time and a concerted national effort, with many stakeholders involved. Recommendations Helping students make well-informed education and career choices We must empower our youths to make well-informed decisions for their future. education Our students should have accurate and up-to-date careers. Working adults should be similarly information to enable them to make good choices about their and empowered and equipped. Thus, we recommend the following: ? Recommendation 1: Strengthen education and career guidance (ECG) efforts in schools, polytechnics and ITE. Strengthening education and training in polytechnics and ITE Our polytechnics and ITE must continue to provide a strong applied education, and equip their graduates with a strong skills foundation to join the workforce. We must also provide adequate support to help every student succeed in their studies. We therefore recommend the following: ? Recommendation 2: Enhance internships at the polytechnics and ITE. ? Recommendation skills. 3: Increase

Nitec

to

Higher

Nitec

progression opportunities so ITE students can deepen their

8

?

Recommendation 4: Establish polytechnic and ITE leads for each key industry sector to strengthen linkages with industry and help enhance programme offerings.

?

Recommendation 5: Expand online learning opportunities to make it easier for individuals to learn anywhere and anytime.

?

Recommendation 6: Provide more development and support programmes for polytechnic and ITE students to help every enrolled student succeed.

Helping polytechnic and ITE students deepen skills post-graduation We need to provide more avenues for our polytechnic and ITE graduates to deepen existing skills or acquire new skills. We also need to better bridge the transition from school to work and enable our youths to apply the skills they have acquired, and build upon them further in their jobs. Hence, we recommend the following: ? Recommendation 7: Launch new programmes that integrate work and study, such as place-and-train programmes, to provide an additional skills-upgrading option for polytechnic and ITE graduates. ? Recommendation 8: Increase post-diploma Continuing

Education and Training (CET) opportunities at our polytechnics to refresh and deepen the skills of polytechnic graduates. ? Recommendation 9: Support vocation-based deployments during National Service (NS) to help polytechnic and ITE graduates maintain their skills.

9

Helping polytechnic and ITE graduates progress in their careers The changes to our applied education system will need to be wellsupported by clearly articulated pathways of progression. These progression pathways and skills frameworks can also serve as benchmarks for hiring and progression practices within the industry. Thus, we recommend the following: ? Recommendation 10: Develop sector-specific skills frameworks and career progression pathways in collaboration with industry to support progression based on industry-relevant skills. Conclusion The ASPIRE Committee believes that these recommendations will help create more opportunities for our polytechnic and ITE students to progress and to achieve their aspirations. At the same time, they will help businesses with their manpower needs, and grow and develop talent pipelines. In so doing, we hope to secure a brighter future for each individual, and for our nation.

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Chapter 1: Introduction

The Impetus for the Review
1.1 Our polytechnic and ITE system has been successful in enabling students to develop themselves and realise their potential. its students. Its main strength is the emphasis on applied Our polytechnic and ITE graduates are in high learning and its relevance to work and the careers pursued by demand, with nearly nine in ten finding employment within six months of graduation. 1.2 The success of our polytechnic and ITE education system has encouraged many young Singaporeans to strive for greater heights. Many of them hope to further their education, either immediately or at a later point in their careers, to improve their prospects for advancement – polytechnic and ITE students and alumni whom the ASPIRE Committee engaged shared their hopes of doing so to improve their career prospects. Our youth are ambitious, and are eager to learn and to do more with the skills they acquire. 1.3 These aspirations must, however, be seen against the demands of the future, which will feature the following: ? ? ? ? The demand for deep and relevant skills will rise; The nature of jobs will continue to evolve; Technology will continue to drive disruptions; and There will be growing recognition that education and learning does not end with graduation from an education institution, but continues throughout life.

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1.4

The question therefore, is how our system can innovate to meet these aspirations and achieve the outcomes we want for our young people given today’s evolving environment, and the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous future that is to come.

1.5

It was with this in mind that the Committee embarked on its work. This report sets out key strategies and recommendations to secure a better future for our young people. In arriving at these recommendations, the Committee took into account the considerations below.

Opportunities for All
1.6 A fundamental tenet underlying the Committee’s approach was that all Singaporeans should have opportunities to realise their full potential, and progress in life, no matter what their starting point. This has been the core essence of our This report is Singapore story, and must continue to be so.

thus about finding ways to provide more opportunities for polytechnic and ITE students and graduates to progress and realise their aspirations. 1.7 At the same time, the Committee recognised that such opportunities are closely tied to Singapore having a strong economy. Only if there is economic growth can there be good jobs and abundant prospects for young Singaporeans, and it is only if young Singaporeans have the right skills that they can meaningfully seize current and future opportunities. We therefore also need to ensure a good alignment between industry needs, economic opportunities, and the skills of our workforce in order for Singaporeans to progress and prosper.

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Creating a Strong Skills System
1.8 We must help our young Singaporeans acquire the right skills that count towards their careers. These include both technical skills and soft skills, such as communications, teamwork and leadership skills. 1.9 Our young Singaporeans must also possess a strong work ethic – initiative, a strong resilient spirit, a willingness to innovate, and an attitude of “can do, can change, and will learn”. This is not only key to their adaptability to change, but is also reflective of the strong character and values we would like our Singapore society to embody. 1.10 To achieve this, we must create a strong skills system that supports the alignment of skills with what the job market needs. Industry has to work closely with our polytechnics and ITE to keep our applied education curriculum and approach relevant. We will also need to introduce new learning options that can help individuals better acquire the skills they need. These different options should cater to the diverse learning preferences and circumstances of individual students.

Creating Good Progression Pathways
1.11 We must also create good skills-based progression pathways. Most students and parents whom we engaged felt that success or advancement can only be achieved with a degree. Whilst the degree pathway is one possible route to success, there must be other ways to advance. We must create multiple pathways for individuals to progress according to their skills, contributions and experience, and a variety of ways to attain deeper skills and knowledge.

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1.12

We must also value every individual, and help them to develop to the best of their ability. Individuals should be recognised for their hard work and contributions. Every job matters, and deserves respect.

1.13

This will require progressive human resource practices by employers, as well as industry-developed frameworks against which upgrading and advancement can be referenced. If done well, this will support employees’ growth and development. At the same time, this will benefit employers as it will facilitate recruitment and retention, and ensure a pipeline of skilled talent for the future. This in turn will benefit the country as a whole.

Building on Our Strengths
1.14 To achieve these outcomes, the Committee’s starting point was that we should build on our strengths. The success of our polytechnic and ITE system thus far has been the result of a strong industry-focused and practice-oriented curriculum that blends theory with application. students with a strong skills foundation. 1.15 This blend of content and application (or applied learning), adopted since the early days of Singapore’s development, has served us well. Our view was reinforced by what we saw of the Swiss, Dutch and German education systems. skilled labour and low youth unemployment. 1.16 The value of applied learning lies in its relevance to the real world, which benefits students, employers, and employees. A These adopt a strong applied learning approach and have highly This has provided our

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successful

applied

education

system

requires

close

collaboration between education and industry, particularly in developing valuable work and life skills in students and meeting employer needs. This nexus will also serve to alert us to imminent industry changes, and enable our education system to adapt and respond in a timely manner. This will be critical in the future, as the world and our economy, continues to evolve rapidly, driven by technological progress and innovation. 1.17 Given the importance of a close nexus between industry and applied education, Singapore’s tripartite system is a key strength that we should leverage.

Making Well-Informed Choices
1.18 The Committee also recognised that navigating the plethora of education options and the increasingly diverse career landscape can be difficult for students and even working adults, and they may lack the relevant information to choose the right career paths. 1.19 We must help them make well-informed choices – based on their strengths, interests and opportunities – so that they can choose the pathways that will help them realise their aspirations.

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Learning on the Job
1.20 The way in which skills can be acquired will need to be reconsidered. classroom. Some skills are better acquired through work experience or actual industry projects, rather than in the We have seen this work well in other countries, where on-the-job learning in the workplace has produced highly-skilled workers with great expertise and best-in-class craftsmanship. Learning through work can also help in the development of soft skills.

Continuing Education and Training (CET)
1.21 It is no longer the case that individuals can expect to learn all they need in school. Learning and education must continue even after they have started work. 1.22 Continuing Education and Training (CET), whether in the form of formal education or through on-the-job training, will become increasingly important, both for upgrading and advancement, as well as to cope with disruptive changes.

Having the Right Mind-Sets
1.23 Achieving these objectives will require the right mind-sets: ? First, we should value every individual and every job. Every Singaporean matters, and every job is worthy of our respect. Recognition and progression should not be based on qualifications alone, but should also take into account skills, contributions and experience.

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?

Second, employers need to see themselves as an integral part of the education and training system. They need to take strong ownership of helping to develop skilled individuals. In addition, employers will need to work with other key stakeholders to promote the effective utilisation of skills, and to provide greater clarity to individuals on the skills they need to progress.

?

Third, we should view education and learning as a continuing endeavour. Learning should not stop after graduation. Our economy requires a wide range of skills that will need to evolve to keep pace with global developments. Individuals must stay current and deepen their skills so that they can continue to progress and can achieve their aspirations and lead fulfilling lives.

A Concerted Effort is Needed
1.24 The changes contemplated in this report, if accepted, will take time and effort to implement. effort and on the part of It will require a concerted industry achieve players, better Government, together to

educational institutions, workers, unions, students, parents educators, working outcomes for all.

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Chapter 2:

Helping Students Make Well-Informed Education and

Career Choices 2.1 Our ASPIRE survey showed that students rely mostly on parents and the media when they make key decisions about their education and careers, and they want better access to information and good guidance. Almost 8 in 10 polytechnic and ITE students thought that a one-stop education and career guidance portal or centre, would be useful. 2.2 We must enable everyone to make well-informed education and career choices based on their strengths, interests, aspirations, and the opportunities available in the changing economy. This way, students can maximise their potential, learn well, and develop the skills needed to access these new opportunities.

Recommendation 1: Strengthen Education and Career Guidance (ECG) in Schools, Polytechnics and ITE
2.3 Today, the various avenues that students turn to for career guidance often do not give them a complete picture about the job market, or the education and career pathways available. 2.4 Education and career decisions are not trivial. When our

youths make these decisions, we want them to do so based on a good understanding of themselves and the opportunities available for them. changes. This should also be the case when they become working adults seeking further career opportunities or To empower individuals to make well-informed education and career choices, they must have access to tools or trained ECG officers to help them assess their strengths and

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interests, as well as accurate and up-to-date labour market information. 2.5 Currently, ECG tends to be segmented within each stage of an individual’s education and working life, and is designed and delivered by different agencies. 2.6 The ASPIRE Committee recommends strengthening and coordinating ECG efforts as part of an integrated national ECG framework spanning the schools, the polytechnics and ITE, and the network of career centres run by WDA, so that ECG is seamless across an individual’s entire life and takes into account his or her strengths, interests, skills, and the available education and career options. 2.7 We envision this brand of “end-to-end” ECG starting in school and continuing throughout the student’s postsecondary education. This way, individuals can discover their strengths and interests early and subsequently develop the expertise to pursue the opportunities they have identified. The ECG should continue beyond graduation, so that individuals will have access to personalised advice regarding skills deepening as working adults or even “re-skilling” as new options become available. 2.8 Thus, the ASPIRE Committee proposes that more trained ECG officers be made available to students in schools, polytechnics and ITE to provide face-to-face professional advice to students and other forms of ECG support and activities. ECG officers can undertake one-to-one or group ECG counselling sessions as well as design the ECG curriculum and organise related activities.

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2.9

A working adult will need different ECG from a student. Some may need guidance on progressing within their chosen fields, whilst others may require assistance to enter new sectors. Since the ECG required at varying stages of an individual’s life will differ, working adults can continue to be served primarily by career coaches based at WDA’s career centres.

2.10

The delivery of ECG can be supported by a one-stop online portal that offers tailored profiling and assessment tools and resources, information on labour market conditions and opportunities, and the education, training and career options available for individuals across the various life stages. Through the portal, ECG resources can be accessed at an individuals’ own time and convenience. possible advice for students. Access should also be open to parents and educators to empower them to provide the best

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Chapter 3: Strengthen Education and Training in Polytechnics and ITE 3.1 Polytechnic and ITE education has always played a key role in preparing our Singaporean youth for work and life. Thus, to meet the evolving demands of a changing economy, we have to take our polytechnic and ITE education to the next level. We will need to work with employers to enhance students’ learning so that they have a solid education and skills foundation to advance in their chosen careers.

Recommendation 2: Enhance internships at the polytechnics and ITE
3.2 The learning of technical skills is most effective when such skills are acquired and applied in a real work environment. For students, this can be done through good internships. 3.3 An internship is a key component of an applied education programme. A good internship experience is also critical as it shapes a student’s perceptions of the sector, and could determine whether he or she joins the sector upon graduation. 3.4 Today, most polytechnic and ITE students already have the opportunity to undertake an internship as part of their studies. However, while the quality of internships at our polytechnics and ITE is generally good, the quality of experience can differ significantly from student to student, depending on how the internship is carried out by the host employers. Classroom learning and workplace application should be coupled as tightly as possible to support effective teaching and learning.

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3.5

The ASPIRE Committee recommends that the polytechnics and ITE, in collaboration with industry partners, review their curricula and approach to internships to better support learning at the workplace. their chosen sector. This will help students deepen their skills so that they are well placed to pursue a career in

3.6

Internships should be well structured, with clear and relevant learning outcomes defined ahead of time, agreed upon between the institution and the host company, and made known to the student and their company trainers or mentors ahead of the internship. Students’ job scopes and assignments should contribute to these learning outcomes.

3.7

Support from host companies, such as the provision of good mentors to monitor and guide the interns at the host companies, will also strengthen the learning process. For fields requiring deep technical expertise, internships can also be lengthened where needed so that students can learn better through more meaningful work assignments.

Recommendation 3: Increase Nitec to Higher Nitec progression opportunities
3.8 The ASPIRE Committee received industry feedback that in some industry sectors, employers felt that allowing Nitec graduates to develop their skills further through a longer duration of training at ITE would better prepare them for work in the sector. Thus, the Committee recommends increasing the number of Higher Nitec places for Nitec graduates. More Nitec graduates will be able to progress to Higher

Nitec courses to deepen their skills further before they
begin work.

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3.9

Notwithstanding the higher number of Higher Nitec places provided to Nitec upgraders, good standards, rigour of training and proper assessment levels must be maintained.

Recommendation 4: Establish polytechnic and ITE leads for each key industry sector
3.10 Today, the polytechnics and ITE offer a comprehensive suite of programmes to cater to their students. Each polytechnic and ITE has been building up its own faculties, programmes and industry linkages, to provide the best possible applied education for its students. 3.11 The sector, ASPIRE to Committee recommends in working designating with a

polytechnic or ITE college as a lead institution for each key coordinate efforts different stakeholders. This will strengthen linkages with industry

and help enhance programme offerings. 3.12 The sector lead will work with relevant economic agencies, employers and other stakeholders, to enhance the industryrelated components of the programmes so that course offerings are kept relevant. These partnerships can be in areas such as internships and industry projects. 3.13 A growing number of companies are tapping on our polytechnics’ and ITE’s expertise for applied research. institutions can explore setting up more Centres Our of

Innovation (COIs) in sectors with strong industry demand. These can be used to bring in more industry projects to maintain the currency of academic staff, and give students greater exposure to the latest industry developments.

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3.14

All

institutions

and

students

can

benefit

from

this

coordination, with stronger programmes, better internships and more industry-relevant or even industry-led training. Employers can also have a convenient point of contact with each sector lead to coordinate their institutional engagements, particularly if they have new ideas or projects that they would like to partner the polytechnics or ITE on. 3.15 The ASPIRE Committee notes the strong industry linkages that the polytechnics and ITE have built up over the years. The recommended structure is not intended to supplant every existing relationship and start building links afresh. Rather, it should build on these existing linkages and goodwill, but coordinate efforts and the deployment of resources so that all institutions and students will benefit as a whole.

Recommendation 5: Expand online learning opportunities
3.16 Beyond keeping up-to-date with the latest industry The

developments, our polytechnics and ITE can look at leveraging the latest technology to enhance their programmes. Internet, mobile computing and education technology offer a powerful combination that can augment academic learning and support continual learning. Learning no longer needs to be confined to a specific place or time. In addition, individuals can readily access curated material drawn from the best educational elsewhere. 3.17 The ASPIRE Committee recommends that the polytechnics and ITE increase their use of online learning to make it easier for individuals to learn anywhere and anytime. Polytechnic and ITE graduates who are working will find it resources available, developed locally and

24

easier to pursue CET as online learning can reduce their travel time and allow them to learn flexibly based on their work and family schedules. 3.18 Online learning can also enhance learning for individuals. Online modules can cover both skill-refresher and skilldeepening content that support both graduates and students. Graduates who are in the proposed place-and-train programmes may find value in having their academic material easily accessible online as they apply theoretical concepts in real work settings. Students who are on internships or attached to the host companies will also benefit as this will reduce the need for them to travel back to their institutions. The use of data analytics can also support institutions in providing timely intervention to students who may be falling behind. 3.19 The ASPIRE Committee also notes that while the use of technology confers many advantages, it cannot fully address issues related to student engagement and motivation, nor can it substitute hands-on learning and practice. When creating online courses and assessment, institutions must address this through the incorporation of elements such as motivational design. The incorporation of social interaction and real-life opportunities for hands-on learning must also not be ignored.

Recommendation 6: Provide more development and support programmes for students
3.20 Beyond enhancing the applied aspects of the polytechnic and ITE education, we also need to ensure that our students develop holistically, and are equipped with the life skills and

25

socio-emotional competencies needed to lead a successful and fulfilled life. 3.21 More students from diverse backgrounds and with varying abilities are entering our polytechnics and ITE. Some do well on their own with little support, while others may struggle, especially students with difficult family situations. 3.22 The polytechnics and ITE must provide adequate support to help every student succeed, no matter what his or her circumstances may be. 3.23 The Committee notes that there is currently adequate financial support in terms of tuition grant schemes, study loans, and bursaries, for those who need them. However, students who are not doing well will benefit from more motivational support and programmes for character development. 3.24 We recommend that our polytechnics and ITE offer more development programmes to strengthen students’ leadership, character and resilience, and equip them with the necessary skills for life. 3.25 In mounting these development programmes, the polytechnics and ITE can consider partnering, where appropriate, with community partners, such as community and self-help groups, to leverage their expertise and experience. 3.26 We also recommend that our polytechnics and ITE explore more opportunities for social innovation and entrepreneurship. These expanded opportunities can be Students will benefit from the skills

student- or faculty-led.

and industry exposure they stand to gain from the experience.

26

More on-campus work opportunities can also be offered, with students who require financial support given favourable consideration for these opportunities. In this way, students with financial need can have better access to paid work opportunities, which can also help develop their life skills.

27

Chapter 4: Helping Polytechnic and ITE Graduates Deepen Skills Post-Graduation 4.1 Enhancing education at the polytechnics and ITE will ensure that our graduates have a strong education and skills foundation to start their careers. seize new opportunities. 4.2 We recommend the following measures so that polytechnic and ITE graduates have more avenues to learn and deepen their skills even after they graduate. However, individuals must embrace lifelong learning so that they stay current and can

Recommendation 7: Launch new programmes that integrate study and work, such as place-and-train programmes
4.3 The ASPIRE Committee recommends expanding the options for polytechnic and ITE graduates to attain employerrecognised skill certifications through the introduction of place-and-train programmes in suitable sectors. deepen their skills at the same time. 4.4 These programmes can be structured in a similar manner to the Swiss and German apprenticeships, where further skills training takes place in a structured manner at the workplace through an integration of knowledge learnt in the classroom and its real-world application. 4.5 Such integrated work-and-learn programmes will provide additional opportunities for polytechnic and ITE graduates to put their skills into practice while concurrently allowing them to upgrade through learning at the workplace. Learning on the job is an effective way of improving their work 28 This will enable fresh polytechnic and ITE graduates to work and

proficiencies and deepening their skills so that they are well placed to take on new or larger job scopes and progress in their careers. 4.6 Under a place-and-train programme, polytechnic and ITE graduates will be matched to progressive employers committed to supporting on-the-job learning and further upgrading. The curricula will be designed in consultation with industry to ensure their industry relevance. Committee recommends that under The ASPIRE the such schemes,

graduates be employed by the companies and paid monthly salaries as employees. They will undergo structured on-thejob training in the workplace, which will be complemented with classes at the polytechnics or ITE. 4.7 The programmes should have the following features: ? A salary during the programme to reflect the actual work undertaken by the graduates; ? The conferment of an employer-recognised skills

certification upon completion of the programme; and ? Potentially higher pay upon completion of the

programme if the graduates perform competently and take on larger job scopes given the additional skills that they have built up in the course of the programme.

29

Recommendation 8: Increase post-diploma Continuing Education and Training (CET) opportunities at our polytechnics
4.8 CET will be increasingly important for individuals as industries continue to evolve and new technologies and processes continue to emerge. providing more The ASPIRE Committee recommends skills-refresher and skills-deepening

opportunities through post-diploma CET at the polytechnics to allow polytechnic graduates to maintain their skills currency. This will help boost the readiness and confidence of our polytechnic graduates, especially if it has been some time since they last applied their knowledge and skills, e.g. for males who entered National Service (NS) right after completing their diploma courses. 4.9 Post-diploma CET options are already highly subsidised. Making these options more flexible and accessible will encourage graduates to undertake them and secure their first footing on the CET ladder within a few years of their graduation. These additional options should also be developed closely with industry so that they incorporate the latest developments and are recognised by employers. More Master Craftsman programmes can also be considered so that polytechnic and ITE graduates have further opportunities to develop deep skills in their respective professions.1

1

There is currently one Master Craftsman programme in Precision Engineering offered by Nanyang Polytechnic with support from EDB, SPRING Singapore and WDA. Students who complete the programme graduate with a Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) Diploma in Precision Engineering (Master Craftsman Skills).

30

Recommendation 9: Support vocation-based deployments during National Service (NS)
4.10 NS is a natural rite of passage for every Singaporean male transiting from school to work. The ASPIRE Committee considered how to facilitate the linkage between students’ education and career, taking into account this period of NS. 4.11 In this regard, the Committee welcomes the recommendations by the Committee to Strengthen National Service (CSNS) to take the skills and prior training of full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) into account in their NS deployment, subject to operational needs and considerations, as well as to accredit soldiering competencies to reflect the leadership, technical and specialist skills that NSFs acquire during NS. 4.12 This will allow our polytechnic and ITE graduates to maintain their skills during NS and, at the same time, allow our NSFs to obtain industry-recognised accreditation for their related vocational specialisations wherever possible. With this opportunity, they will be better placed to join the industry they had trained for after they finish their full-time NS. 4.13 The ASPIRE Committee recommends that the polytechnics and ITE work closely with the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home Affairs to support the implementation of these initiatives. We should endeavour to benefit as many polytechnic and ITE male graduates as possible, taking into account the operational needs and other considerations of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Home Team.

31

Chapter 5: Helping Polytechnic and ITE Graduates Progress in their Careers 5.1 To better enable Singaporeans to fulfil their career

aspirations, whatever their starting point, we must encourage lifelong learning, and foster a better match between students’ learning and the value employers place on such learning. This requires clarity on the skills required to do one’s job well and to progress to the next level.

Recommendation 10: Develop sector-specific skills frameworks and career progression pathways in collaboration with industry
5.2 To support career progression based on industry-relevant skills, the ASPIRE Committee recommends developing sectorspecific skills frameworks linked to progression pathways. These frameworks should clearly specify the industry-relevant skills required to advance, and can be used to establish benchmarks for hiring and progression. 5.3 Many established employers have internal skills frameworks. However, applicants. these are often unknown to prospective job Compared to company-specific frameworks, a

sector-specific skills framework has the advantage of defining the skills and industry standards across companies within the sector, thus providing greater credibility and validity. This allows the skills of an employee to be recognised not just by a single company, but by the sector as a whole, thus enhancing labour market mobility and relevance for employees. 5.4 The polytechnics and ITE have developed their own sets of industry standards to guide their curriculum design and PreEmployment Training (PET) programmes. Since 2005, WDA has

32

developed 34 sector-based competency frameworks to guide the design and delivery of CET courses by public and private providers under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) system. However, not all sectors are covered by a WSQ framework. It is timely to harmonise the two systems, build on the WSQ, and develop sector-specific skills frameworks that comprehensively cover the skills needs across job levels for key industry sectors. These frameworks could serve as the common reference frameworks for skills-based PET and CET offered by public education institutions, including our polytechnics and ITE, as well as private training providers and industry training centres. 5.5 The ASPIRE Committee recommends that these skills

frameworks be designed at the sector level, to take into account the specific requirements of each industry. Figure 1 below provides an illustration of what such a skills framework could look like, using the early childhood sector as an example.

33

Figure 1: Illustrative Example of a Possible Sector-Specific Skills Framework for Nursery Teachers (specific to developing the child holistically) Nursery Teacher 2 Nursery Teacher 1 Understand & apply teaching strategies based on child development theories and curriculum frameworks. Set up quality learning environments in the classroom; use existing learning resources appropriately. Observe, interpret and record child’s learning progress to inform practices. Additionally, to Additionally, to document these in a structured manner. customise documentation rubrics for centre-wide use. Additionally, to customise and adapt existing learning resources to enhance learning. Additionally, to assess effectiveness of learning environments and resources.
(Additional competencies beyond previous level)

Nursery Teacher 3
(Additional competencies beyond previous level)

Additionally, to use differentiated instruction in implementing teaching strategies.

Additionally, to assist in evaluating and assessing teaching strategies.

Source: Early Childhood Development Agency

5.6

These

sector-specific

skills

frameworks

can

become

the

benchmarks for HR practices, particularly in the hiring and career progression of employees. The aim of the frameworks is to encourage employers to reward and promote employees based on their skills. Employees will also benefit from a clearer understanding of what is required to progress and advance in their careers. Skills should form the rungs in the ladders for career advancement. 5.7 To complement the skills frameworks, the ASPIRE

Committee recommends introducing new modular courses

34

that will help individuals build up specific skills needed for progression. These courses will allow individuals to develop or deepen specific skills to perform better at their jobs and take on larger job scopes, and this better performance or bigger responsibilities can be recognised and remunerated accordingly. Employees will thus have an additional means of skillsdeepening and career advancement, aside from learning on the job or pursuing higher qualifications. 5.8 These modular courses can include CET courses offered by our post-secondary education institutions, WSQ courses, and other industry-recognised training and certifications offered by the industry itself. employers. 5.9 The courses could also count as credits and/or be recognised for admission to additional industry training or certification programmes so that individuals can deepen their skills further. Courses offered by the polytechnics or universities could give the individual advanced standing or credit, should he or she subsequently enrol in a full diploma or degree programme. 5.10 Figure 2 below provides an illustration of what such a progression pathway can look like, using the marine and offshore industry as an example. 5.11 With clearly articulated skills frameworks and progression pathways, employees can take courses to develop the skills that employers value, perform better at their jobs or take on larger responsibilities, and be remunerated accordingly. Industry should be closely consulted in the development of these courses to ensure their relevance to

35

Figure 2: Illustrative Example of Possible Career Progression Pathway for Marine and Offshore Technology
Further Progression

Degree

Engineer

Modular courses + Work experience

Diploma

Assistant Engineer

Modular courses Supervisor/Foreman + Work experience

Senior Technician

Higher Nitec

Technician

36

Chapter 6: Conclusion 6.1 The ASPIRE Committee believes that the recommendations set out in this report will help to place greater emphasis on skills, and create more progression pathways and learning opportunities for our polytechnic and ITE graduates. 6.2 Our recommendations also represent the first steps in reshaping our society’s approach to education and learning. We must continue the pursuit of learning and excellence throughout our lives, and create more avenues for this. The skills and experience acquired at each stage of life must be recognised and rewarded. 6.3 For our recommendations to make a difference to each individual and to our nation, the Government, employers, workers, unions, educators, parents and students must all work together as part of a national effort. 6.4 Every Singaporean matters. Regardless of where they start, Together, we can

they should have the opportunities to progress, fulfil their potential, and achieve their aspirations. nation. secure a brighter future for each individual and for us as a

37

Annex A Composition of the ASPIRE Committee ASPIRE Steering Committee
Chairperson 1 Ms Indranee Rajah Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Members 2 3 4 Mr Jonathan Asherson Mr Boo Kheng Hua Mr Gonzalo Ruiz Calavera Regional Director ASEAN and Pacific, Rolls-Royce Singapore Pte Ltd Principal & Chief Executive Officer, Temasek Polytechnic Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Human Resources, Asia/Australia, Siemens Pte Ltd 5 6 7 8 Ms Chan Lai Fung Mr Chan Lee Mun Prof Cheong Hee Kiat Mr Chia Mia Chiang Permanent Secretary (Education), Ministry of Education Principal & Chief Executive Officer, Nanyang Polytechnic President, SIM University Principal & Chief Executive Officer, Ngee Ann Polytechnic [until 31 March 2014] President, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts [w.e.f. 1 April 2014] 9 10 11 12 13 14 Mr Choo Chiau Beng Mr Douglas Foo Mr Markus Froehlich Ms Ho Peng Mr R Jayachandran Ms Ayesha Khanna Senior Advisor, Keppel Corporation Limited Executive Chairman, Sakae Holdings Ltd Managing Director, Nestlé R&D Centre (Pte) Ltd Singapore Director-General of Education, Ministry of Education Chairman, Olam International Ltd Chief Executive Officer, Technology Quotient

A-1

15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Dr Lim Boon Huat Mr Loh Khum Yean Ms Olivia Lum Mr Ng Cher Pong A/Prof Benjamin Ong Mrs Ow Foong Pheng Mr Pradeep Pant Mr Pek Lian Guan Mr Bruce Poh Geok Huat Dr Huck Poh

Managing Director, Rohde & Schwarz Asia Pte Ltd Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Manpower Executive Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer, Hyflux Ltd Chief Executive, Singapore Workforce Development Agency Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry President, Pant Consulting Pte Ltd Chief Executive Officer, Tiong Seng Holdings Ltd Director & Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Technical Education General Manager, Pulau Bukom Manufacturing Site & Manufacturing Director, Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd

25 26 27 28

Mr Suhaimi Rafdi Mr Joshua Soh Mr Tan Choon Shian Mr Gary Tan

Chief Executive Officer, Cathay Organisation Holdings Ltd Managing Director, Singapore & Brunei, Cisco Systems (USA) Pte Ltd Principal & Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Polytechnic Managing Director, Head of Financial Markets, Singapore, Standard Chartered Bank

29 30

Mr Tan Kai Hoe Mr Tan Puay Hin

Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore Regional Chief Executive Officer (Southeast Asia), PSA International Pte Ltd

31

Prof Tan Thiam Soon

President, Singapore Institute of Technology

A-2

32 33

Prof Raj. Thampuran Mr Clarence Ti

Managing Director, Agency for Science, Technology and Research Chief Executive, Vital, Ministry of Finance [until 30 April 2014] Principal & Chief Executive Officer, Ngee Ann Polytechnic [w.e.f. 1 May 2014]

34 35

Mr Yeo Li Pheow Mr Yeoh Keat Chuan

Principal & Chief Executive Officer, Republic Polytechnic Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board

A-3

ASPIRE Review Committee 1: Strengthening Applied Pedagogy and Industry Links
Co-Chairpersons 1 2 Dr Lim Boon Huat Mr Tan Choon Shian Managing Director, Rohde & Schwarz Asia Pte Ltd Principal & Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Polytechnic Members 3 4 5 Mr Christian Burdin Mr Chan Tee Seng Mr Khoong Hock Yun Managing Director, South East Asia, Festo Pte Ltd Chief Executive Officer, NTUC First Campus Co-operative Ltd Assistant Chief Executive, Development Group, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore 6 7 8 Mr Thilo Krapfl Ms Lee Yan Hong Ms Caroline Lim Director & Plant Manager, Evonik Oil Additives Asia Pacific Pte Ltd Managing Director and Head, Group Human Resources, DBS Bank Ltd Global Head of Human Resource and Corporate Affairs, PSA International Pte Ltd 9 10 11 12 13 14 Ms Lim Yee Fong Ms Jayanthi Manian Prof Aziz Amirali Merchant Dr Moh Chong Tau Mr Mohd K Rafin Mr Saw Ken Wye Site Director, Abbott Manufacturing Singapore [until 31 March 2014] Director, Chase Resource Management Pte Ltd Executive Director, Keppel Offshore & Marine Technology Centre President & Chief Executive Officer, Makino Asia Pte Ltd Chief Corporate Officer, Park Hotel Group Chief Executive Officer, CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd

A-4

15 16 17

Mr Darshan Singh Mr Alvin Tan Mr Gerry Tan

Director, Human Capital Division, SPRING Singapore Assistant Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board Managing Director, Griffin Kinetic Pte Ltd Honorary Secretary, Singapore Logistics Association

18

Mr Tan Seng Hua

Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Academic), Institute of Technical Education [until 31 July 2014] Dean, ITE Academy & Chief Executive Officer, ITE Education Services [w.e.f. 1 August 2014]

19 20 21

Mr Teo Eng Dih Ms Teoh Zsin Woon Mr James Wong Kok Onn

Director (Manpower), Ministry of Defence Deputy Secretary (Development), Ministry of Health Deputy Secretary (Policy), Public Service Division

A-5

ASPIRE Review Committee 2: Enhancing Students’ Success
Co-Chairpersons 1 2 Mr Ng Cher Pong Mr Clarence Ti Chief Executive, Singapore Workforce Development Agency Chief Executive, Vital, Ministry of Finance [until 30 April 2014] Principal & Chief Executive Officer, Ngee Ann Polytechnic [w.e.f. 1 May 2014] Members 3 Mr Ang Kong Keng Senior Lecturer (Electrical Engineering Division, School of Engineering), Ngee Ann Polytechnic 4 5 Mr Boo Junfeng Ms Christophane Foo Filmmaker Director, Human Resource and Organisation Development, SPRING Singapore 6 7 8 9 10 11 Dr Goh Mong Song Ms Goh Wan Yee Mr Edmond Khoo Keng Gie Prof K. Ranga Krishnan Mr David Leong Ms Liew Wei Li Dean, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Managing Director, PeopleWorldwide Consulting Pte Ltd Director, Student Development Curriculum Division, Ministry of Education 12 13 14 Mr Kulshaan Singh Mr Gilbert Tan Mr Thambyrajah T Partner, Head of Sales for Asia, Middle East and Africa, Mercer Chief Executive Officer, Employment and Employability Institute Registrar, Nanyang Polytechnic Deputy Principal (Academic), ITE College West Director, Human Capital, Singapore Economic Development Board Deputy Principal, Temasek Polytechnic

A-6

15 16

Mr Alexander Trost Mr Tui Jurn Mun

Vice President HR, Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific Pte Ltd Deputy Director (Office of Industry and Collaboration), Republic Polytechnic [until 31 March 2014] Director (Office of Industry and Collaboration), Republic Polytechnic [w.e.f. 1 April 2014]

A-7

ASPIRE Review Committee 3: Strengthening Research, Innovation and Enterprise
Co-Chairpersons 1 2 Mr Chan Lee Mun Prof Raj. Thampuran Principal & Chief Executive Officer, Nanyang Polytechnic Managing Director, Agency for Science, Technology and Research Members 3 4 5 6 Mr Ang Yuit Ms Irene Cheong Dr Steven Fang Mr Gian Yi-Hsen Managing Director, The Adventus Consultants Pte Ltd Director, Industry Liaison Office, National University of Singapore Partner, Clearbridge Accelerator Director, Industry Identification and Incubation, Singapore Economic Development Board 7 8 9 Ms Ho Yean Fee Mr Peter Lam Mr Liau Eng Soon Vice President, Product & Innovation, SAP Asia Pte Ltd Deputy Principal & Registrar, Ngee Ann Polytechnic Director, Technology Adoption Programme, Agency for Science, Technology and Research 10 11 12 13 14 15 Dr Lim Khiang Wee Mr Lo Kien Foh Mr Leslie Loh Mr Declan MacFadden A/Prof Neo Kok Beng Dr Kay Segler Executive Director, CREATE Managing Director, Continental Automotive Singapore Pte Ltd Managing Director, Red Dot Ventures Pte Ltd President, Flavour & Nutrition, Asia Pacific, Symrise Asia Pacific Pte Ltd President & Chief Executive Officer, AWAK Technologies Pte Ltd Senior Vice President Special Projects Asia, BMW Group

A-8

16

Mr Soh Sze-Wei

Divisional Director, Curriculum and Educational Development 2, Institute of Technical Education

17 18 19 20

Mr Tan Kai Hoe Mr Theodore Tan Mr Vincent Tan Chor Khoon Mrs Yeung Geak Hong

Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore Managing Director, The Biofactory Pte Ltd Managing Director, Select Group Ltd Director, Human Resource, Singapore Polytechnic

A-9

ASPIRE Engagement Committee
Chairman 1 Mr Heng Guan Teck Deputy Principal, Republic Polytechnic [until 31 Jul 2014] Deputy CEO (Academic), Institute of Technical Education [w.e.f. 1 Aug 2014] Members 2 3 4 Ms Zalina Ariffin Mr Russell Chan Wai Meng Mr Greg W K Chew Course Manager (Diploma in Mass Communication), Ngee Ann Polytechnic Director (Planning & Projects Office), Ngee Ann Polytechnic Deputy Director (Media, School of Design and Media), Institute of Technical Education 5 Ms Chua Ai Lian Deputy Director (Corporate & International Development), Institute of Technical Education 6 7 8 Dr Gan Su-lin Mr Santokh Singh Grewal Ms Low Lay Leng Principal Lecturer, Republic Polytechnic Director (Communications & Outreach), Nanyang Polytechnic Deputy Director (Department of Organisation Development), Singapore Polytechnic 9 Ms Georgina Phua Director (School of Digital Media & Infocomm Polytechnic 10 11 12 13 Mr Daniel Tan Kim Director (School of Interactive & Digital Media), Nanyang Polytechnic Deputy Director (School of Hospitality), Republic Polytechnic Director (Student and Alumni Affairs Department), Temasek Polytechnic Mrs Mary Thomas Senior Lecturer (School of Business), Temasek Polytechnic Khoon Mr Benjamin Tan Beng Jin Mr Raymond Teo Technology), Singapore

A-10

Annex B Summary of Feedback from Engagement Sessions Overview of ASPIRE Engagements 1. Efforts to engage key stakeholders were carried out via

platforms such as an ASPIRE Townhall, online surveys, face-to-face engagement sessions and focused group discussions (FGDs), a COMPASS (Community and Parents in Support of Schools) Panel Dialogue, dialogue sessions with secondary school educators, and a REACH (Reaching Everyone for Active Citizenry at Home) Dialogue with Small and Medium Enterprises. 2. We engaged a total of 20,091 stakeholders – 11,831 polytechnic

students, 5,083 ITE students, 1,134 parents, 1,496 alumni, 396 polytechnic and ITE staff, and 151 secondary school leaders and teachers. The feedback we received is summarised below. Aspirations for and Expectations of an Education 3. Students, alumni, polytechnic and ITE staff and parents

generally felt that the polytechnics and ITE prepared students well for the workforce as they equipped students with industry-relevant knowledge and skills as well as soft skills, and gave them the opportunity to take on internships and work on industry projects. 4. Educators at the secondary school level felt that the lack of

attractiveness of a skills-based pathway was due to the prevalent mind-set that skilled jobs, particularly blue-collar ones, were technical in nature and of lower standing than managerial positions. 5. 78% and 70% of polytechnic and ITE students surveyed

respectively said that they would consider joining the workforce

B-1

immediately after graduation if they were guaranteed a higher starting pay. 68% and 58% of polytechnic and ITE students surveyed after graduation if they were guaranteed clear respectively said that they would consider joining the workforce immediately employment prospects. Perceptions of Learning on the Job 6. Students recognised the value of internships and industry

attachments in preparing them for the workforce, but felt that there was room for more structured work attachments which would help them become more work-ready, develop a more relevant industry portfolio, and provide them with networking opportunities as well as clarity in their choice of career. This was a similar sentiment shared by alumni, parents and teaching staff. 7. Students were keen to take on the proposed place-and-train

programmes as it would provide the opportunity to better assimilate into the workforce and provide a credible alternative progression pathway. They generally felt that it was crucial to secure employers’ buy-in and recognition, and this would have to be credibly reflected in pay scales. Sentiments towards Education and Career Guidance 8. Students indicated that family members were a predominant

source of advice when choosing a course of study – 62% and 49% of polytechnic and ITE students surveyed respectively cited parents as one of their top three influences. This was less pronounced for career decisions as students turn to traditional career platforms such as exhibitions, talks, career fairs and the media for information.

B-2

9.

It was acknowledged that trained education and career officers

could play a stronger role in school. Education counsellors had the least influence on students, with only 7.3% and 7.8% of polytechnic and ITE students surveyed respectively citing them as influencing education decisions. Students and alumni also highlighted that they preferred more personalised and enhanced career guidance programmes. 10. Most students and parents said that an online portal could be

useful if it could provide relevant industry information and was readily accessible to all.

B-3


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