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June 2017

May 2017

Subsidies ease cost of acquiring new skills

Article featured Jonathan Lim from the food and beverage line, who shared that training courses are not cheap, but subsidies help to make training more affordable. For instance, the Ministry of Education and SkillsFuture Singapore offer about $400 million a year in direct training subsidies for lifelong learning, which includes the provision of modular courses. Mr Suresh Punjabi, director of SP’s Professional and Adult Continuing Education Academy, highlighted that there is generous funding and subsidies for both individuals and employers. He also mentioned that a mindset change is more important, one in which skills upgrading is widely accepted. [Article featured Jonathan Lim from the food and beverage line, who shared that training courses are not cheap, but subsidies help to make training more affordable. For instance, the Ministry of Education and SkillsFuture Singapore offer about $400 million a year in direct training subsidies for lifelong learning, which includes the provision of modular courses. Mr Suresh Punjabi, director of SP’s Professional and Adult Continuing Education Academy, highlighted that there is generous funding and subsidies for both individuals and employers. He also mentioned that a mindset change is more important, one in which skills upgrading is widely accepted. Article featured Jonathan Lim from the food and beverage line, who shared that training courses are not cheap, but subsidies help to make training more affordable. For instance, the Ministry of Education and SkillsFuture Singapore offer about $400 million a year in direct training subsidies for lifelong learning, which includes the provision of modular courses. Mr Suresh Punjabi, director of SP’s Professional and Adult Continuing Education Academy, highlighted that there is generous funding and subsidies for both individuals and employers. He also mentioned that a mindset change is more important, one in which skills upgrading is widely accepted. [The Straits Times, pB10]

29-05-2017

Read how one of SP's top graduates' video went viral

Article featured SP’s Diploma in Media and Communication graduate and Institutional Medallist Chong Han Lyn. Months after she took up a diploma course in the field of life sciences at another polytechnic, she realised that a career in science was not for her. After reviewing the activities she excelled in during secondary school and visiting SP Open House, she chose her current course for its integrated communications approach. Her time in SP saw her working on several projects, including “Chance”, a short film for the Temasek 20/20 Short Film Project, as well as a one-month social media campaign in partnership with Migrant Workers’ Centre. The campaign video to raise awareness of migrant workers went viral and was picked up by local and online media outlets. She also represented SP in the POL-ITE Women’s Squash games and received the SP Excellence Awards for Sports for all three years. Outside of SP, Han Lyn signed up for the inaugural intake of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Volunteer Corps and supported the SAF in their public communications efforts. She also provided weekly voluntary tuition to adults and students from low-income households at Filos Community Service Centre. During her four-month internship at one of the leading media agencies, Starcom, Han Lyn helped develop consumer insights and recommend media strategies to clients. Her abilities were recognised by the company and she was offered a full-time position even before completing her internship. Accepting Starcom’s offer for the role of media executive, Han Lyn hopes to build a successful brand persona for herself. She also aspires to create a well-known platform to share her thoughts and ideas for the greater good. COMMS note: This is part of our Graduation 2017 stories. [Stomp]

16-05-2017

Mom's death spurred aspiring clinician scientist to emerge as one of SP's top graduates

Article featured SP’s Diploma in Biotechnology (DBT) graduate and Institutional Medallist Don Loi Xu. As a child, Don Loi had always been interested in Biology and his favourite movies included Jurassic Park and Spiderman as the scientific themes inspired and fascinated him. He enrolled into SP’s DBT course as he believed that SP was the most renowned and prestigious polytechnic and the course would equip him with the necessary knowledge and skills that could be applied for the greater good. In Don’s final year of study, his mother passed away from sudden cardiac arrest just a month before he was due to begin his internship at the Agency for Science, Technology And Research (A*STAR).Despite the devastating loss of the pillar of his life, the A*STAR Science Award recipient resolved to do well for his internship as he wanted to make his late mum proud. During his seven-month internship at A*STAR, Don collaborated with scientists on experiments and contributed to new ideas and treatments related to stem cell research.He was also given the opportunity to present at various seminars. Impressed with his aptitude and attitude, the organisation offered Don the prestigious A*STAR MBBS-PhD National Science Scholarship in principle. Don has applied to The National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and aspires to become a clinician scientist. COMMS note: This is part of our Graduation 2017 stories. [Stomp]

15-05-2017

How 'A-Levels failure' went on to become one of SP's top graduates

Article featured SP’s Diploma in Creative Writing for TV and New Media graduate and Institutional Medallist Esther Tan Hui Tian who has been passionate about writing since her days in Jurong Secondary School. However, family and societal pressures made her choose the junior college route instead. When her GCE ‘A’ Levels results were released, Esther was dejected as she didn’t do well enough to enrol in a local university to pursue her interest in writing. Undeterred, she retook the GCE ‘A’ Levels as a private candidate but failed to qualify once again. While deliberating over her options, she attended SP’s Open House and met friendly and assuring lecturers, encouraging her to pursue her dream course. At SP, the budding writer bloomed. Her documentary “Heartware” which explored the topic of the aging population in Singapore was nominated in the Best Documentary, Best Editing and Best Camerawork categories at the National Youth Film Awards and was featured in two international film festivals. As part of her 22-week internship with Big 3 Media, she was entrusted with the role of the 1st Assistant Director – a role that no intern had previously been given – and assisted with the filming of SP’s very own web series, The Leon Theory. Esther’s passion and good work ethics impressed her supervisors so much that they offered her a full-time position which she gladly accepted. Esther hopes to accumulate hands-on experience and learn more about the media industry before pursuing further studies. COMMS note: This is part of our Graduation 2017 stories. [Stomp]

15-05-2017

Aspiring researcher today, potential leader in clean energy sources tomorrow

Article featured SP’s Diploma in Chemical Engineering graduate and Institutional Medallist Liew Zheng Jie who was far from a model student in primary and early secondary school, where he was caned for his misdeeds. He turned over a new leaf when his English teacher from Unity Secondary School nominated him as a class representative during his upper secondary year. Wanting to pursue a course that combined both science and applied theory, Zheng Jie enrolled in SP’s Diploma in Chemical Engineering course as part of the pioneer batch of Polytechnic Foundation Programme students. During his time in SP, Zheng Jie had the opportunity to embark on a six-week attachment programme in New Zealand, where he understudied a professor at the Chemical Engineering department in the University of Canterbury and assisted the university researchers to increase the yield of chemical products. During his final year internship at Solvay, a multi-specialty chemical company, he spearheaded the firm’s digitalisation project to analyse the company’s data logging and optimise and integrate their chemical processes. Zheng Jie has applied to study Chemical Engineering under the Global Merit Scholarship at the National University of Singapore. He aspires to become a researcher in the Chemical industry and dreams of developing new sources of clean energy. COMMS note: This is part of our Graduation 2017 stories. [Stomp]

15-05-2017

Top poly graduates choose work over university

Article featured three top graduates from SP’s graduating cohort of 5,600 this year who chose to work first to gain industry experience, instead of pursuing a degree. SP’s Institutional Medallist and Diploma in Media and Communication graduate Chong Han Lyn, who is working with media agency Starcom, shared that a degree is not necessary for her career in the industry. Even though it might matter when it comes to promotion, there are directors who do not have a degrees but are on the same level as the degree holders. Tracy Ong, who also studied media and communication, agreed with Han Lyn and shared that her four-month internship with advertising agency Arcade made her realise that learning fast and adaptability is more valuable than a degree. Tracy won the Batey Scholar Award and was mentored under brand guru Ian Batey, who came up with the concept of the Singapore Girl for Singapore Airlines. SP’s Institutional Medallist and Diploma in Creative Writing for TV and New Media graduate, Esther Tan, was made an assistant director during her internship at production company Big 3 Media. This is a role which no other intern had taken on before. Her internship experience encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone. She shared that she chose to work first because of the trust that the company placed in her and the company culture. The three graduates may explore other fields of study, such as visual communications or film in future, but they are all happy where they are now. Han Lyn commented that pursuing a degree appealed to her because she enjoys learning and University will give her a platform to expand her knowledge. However, she emphasized on the importance of grabbing the job opportunity first, stating that the school is always there but the job may not always be there for you. COMMS note: This is part of our Graduation 2017 stories. [The New Paper, p9]

08-05-2017

April 2017

Faster, better job matches? Singapore start-ups look to redefine career searches

News featured the various career development and recruitment portals available for young adults aged between 18 and 30. One such portal is Glints, a homegrown start-up which focuses on matching young adults to internship and employment opportunities. SP’s Diploma in Accountacy alumnus Goh Yu Hui was one of the fresh school leavers who have benefited from Glint’ partnership with the polytechnic. Due to finish his national service this year, 23-year old Yu Hui was worried about finding a job. Within days after creating a profile on Glints, he received an SMS notifying him of a suitable position. Two weeks later, he accepted the job as an accounts executive at a local business advisory firm. Apart from having a job board where members can apply for interested positions, Glints also makes customised recommendations based on a member’s interests, education background and work experiences. Currently, it is working with more than 7,000 companies, ranging from Singapore-based start-ups such as Paktor to global multinational corporations like Puma, to place its 60,000 members. It also offers to draw up personalised training plans for its members based on current SkillsFuture courses. Moving forward, Yu Hui will also be taking up an Advanced Diploma in Accountancy - an 18-month work-study programme offered under the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP) - which Glints has helped to coordinate. [Channel NewsAsia]

27-04-2017