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September 2016

Locally developed diagnostic kit can diagnose dengue in 45 minutes

SP and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) has jointly developed a new test kit which takes just 45 minutes to diagnose dengue with a 100 per cent accuracy rate. Compared to the current diagnostic kit used in hospitals which takes around 4 to 6 hours, general practitioners will be able to use this kit to test for dengue among patients, thus saving resources for the hospitals. The kit will also be able to distinguish between the four known strains of the dengue virus. The kit has undergone two years of laboratory testing of 152 blood samples. SP’s Centre for Biomedical and Life Sciences Director, Dr Tan Eng Lee, shared that their goal is to develop faster, better and cheaper diagnostic kits for easier use by the medical professionals. They are currently in talks with companies to commercialise this kit and hope to launch it in the market within the next three years. As the kit is still in the development stage, they are unable to comment on the price but they will try to make it competitive. SP and TTSH also signed a second Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate in researching new methods for the early detection of infectious diseases over the next three years. Both institutions also announced that a prototype test kit for both the dengue and Zika virus is in the works. Similar story was reported in Shin Min Daily News. Similar story in Lianhe Wanbao mentioned that the MOU also provides internship opportunities for SP’s Diploma in Biomedical Science students to work on genome sequencing and diagnostic kits for infectious diseases such as dengue. It also mentioned that SP students have been involved in the development of the prototype kit for dengue and Zika virus which currently takes three hours to diagnose the virus. [Lianhe Zaobao, p9]

21-09-2016

August 2016

Ong Ye Kung: Deepening the skills of the local employees will help to overcome future challenges

Article featured the official launch of the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP) for the Energy and Chemicals Sector by Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung at Shell Eastern Petroleum Pte Ltd, Pulau Bukom. He shared the importance of the SkillsFuture movement as well as the importance of the Energy and Chemicals Sector to the economy. To illustrate the importance of introducing new technology to improve productivity, he mentioned how Shell is using automation in its inspection procedures so as to save manpower. Participants of the ELP will undergo on-campus training at SP, along with structured on-the-job training and mentorship with their employers, which include leading firms in the industry such as Shell Eastern Petroleum Pte Ltd, Hyflux and Glaxo Wellcome Manufacturing. The minimum starting salary for the job component of the programme is between $1,400 and S2,000 with a shift allowance of $800 to $1,100, and participants may also receive wage increments or promotions based on their performance. The article mentioned that 26 participants from different polytechnics have been placed in eight companies since May 2016. These participants will be trained in areas such as process principles, design, optimisation and safety, and assessed by industry practitioners from the sector. Graduates who successfully complete the programme will receive an Advanced Diploma in Chemical Engineering from SP, and will have the opportunity to pursue a related degree in the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Institute of Technology-Newcastle University with exemptions in selected modules. Kimberly Siar, SP’s Diploma in Chemical Engineering graduate from the class of 2016 and a staff of Hyflux under the ELP, opined on the reasons for joining the ELP and how she has benefitted from the on-the-job training. Article also mentioned that the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) has launched 37 ELPs in 22 sectors and plans to increase to 40 ELPs by end of this year. Photo used in the story featured SP’s Diploma in Chemical Engineering graduate and current ELP participant Masyitah Hasunah giving a demonstration to Acting Minister Ong. Similar story was reported in Berita Harian, myPaper and Capital 95.8. [Lianhe Zaobao, p9]

23-08-2016

Earn and Learn Programme launched for energy and chemicals sector

The Singapore Workforce Development Agency and SP launched an 18-month Earn and Learn Programme to build a pipeline of skilled local manpower for the energy and chemicals sector. Participants of the programme will undergo on-campus training at SP, along with structured on-the-job training and mentorship with their employers, which include leading firms in the industry such as Shell, Mitsui and Hyflux. The minimum starting salary for the job component of the programme is between $1,400 and S2,000 with a shift allowance of $800 to $1,100, and participants may also receive wage increments or promotions based on their performance. The article mentioned that 26 participants from different polytechnics have been placed in eight companies since May this year. These participants will be trained in areas such as process principles, design, optimisation and safety, and assessed by industry practitioners from the sector. Graduates who successfully complete the programme will receive an Advanced Diploma in Chemical Engineering from SP, and will have the opportunity to pursue a related degree in the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Institute of Technology-Newcastle University with exemptions in selected modules. Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung shared that the energy and chemicals industry lacked manpower despite its importance to Singapore's economy, and emphasised the importance of the SkillsFuture movement. SP’s Diploma in Chemical Engineering alumna, Masyitah Ceralvo, opined that joining the ELP has given her deeper insights into the industry, which may help to make university studies easier in the future. She is currently working as a process technician at Shell. [Channel News Asia]

23-08-2016

Acquiring new skills to advance in their careers

Article on SkillsFuture featured alumnus from SP’s Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA), Fernandez Bryan Joseph, as well as SP’s Specialist Diploma in Port Management and Operations student, Liang Wen Hao. Both of them opined on how the SkillsFuture initiatives have given them opportunities in their career and equipped them with relevant skills for the maritime industry. Fernandez, who has been working at Emas Offshore for eight years, completed the Certificate of Competency Class 1 course at SMA under a company scholarship. He has also achieved the NTU’s Master of Science in Maritime Studies this year even though his academic results were not as outstanding when he was younger. With the score of 150 for his PSLE, he entered the Normal (Technical) stream and proceeded to study electrical engineering at ITE. Fernandez was one of 22 recipients from the maritime industry for the SkillsFuture Study Awards. Article also mentioned the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme for the Maritime Sector which was launched in June this year and has trained 41 polytechnic graduates to become port operation officers, deck officers and marine engineers. After working in PSA Corporation for two years, Wen Hao joined the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme for Port Operations and is currently studying for a specialist diploma in port management and operations at SP. He shared his experience of the programme and how it has helped him to better understand port operations. Wen Hao who graduated from TP, highlighted the importance of lifelong learning and mentioned that learning should not stop after graduation. [Lianhe Zaobao, p11]

17-08-2016

From Normal stream to PhD course

Article featured two SP graduates who shared their journeys from the Normal stream in secondary school to studying for PhDs. Diploma in Computer Engineering alumnus and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) graduate, Ernest Tan, shared how he did not bother studying much in secondary school as he had no interest in the subjects he was doing. This changed when he studied Communications Technology in ITE, and his interest in computers pushed him to believe that he could continue into polytechnic. His determination allowed him to maintain good grades in NTU. His final-year project (FYP) impressed his FYP supervisor who then linked him up with aerospace firm Airbus for an internship. As part of the Industrial Postgraduate Programme introduced by the Economic Development Board, he was able to enrol in NTU’s PhD in Computer Engineering course as well as work to gain industry experience. Ernest is now a research engineer at Airbus, working on improving the use of radio frequencies for aeronautical communications. Diploma in Chemical Process alumnus and NTU graduate, Nigel Tan, shared about how he was unable to focus on his PSLE preparations as his family had to downgrade to a two-room rental flat due to his father’s business going bankrupt. As a result, he did not do well for his PSLE and entered Normal (Academic) Stream. His parents could not find stable jobs and later divorced. At 14, he became a part-time chef while studying to support his mother and two younger sisters financially. Nigel eventually topped his N-level cohort at Marsiling Secondary School but later struggled with his studies at polytechnic. With the encouragement from his mother, he persevered and did well enough to enter university. Initially he wanted to work immediately after national service but after working for a year, he realised that he needed a degree to go far professionally. He entered NTU in 2013 as a student in Material Science and Engineering. Nigel is now a Graduate Research Officer, allowing him to work full-time and pursue his part-time postgraduate studies in NTU. [The Straits Times, pB20]

01-08-2016

July 2016