Graduate Employment

Published Date: 03 February 2020 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Leon Perera, NCMP


To ask the Minister for Education (a) over the past five years, what has been the trend in terms of time taken for graduates of universities, polytechnics and ITE to secure full-time employment; (b) what has been the trend in the proportion of such graduates taking up intern, contract or part-time positions as their first job after graduation; and (c) what are the causal factors underlying such trends.


1. The Ministry of Education does not track the time taken by graduates to secure full-time employment. But the ability of graduates to secure employment six months after graduation has been tracked through the annual Graduate Employment Surveys, and published over the years.

2. The survey results show that overall employment rate for Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) were 89%, 89%, 90%, 88% and 89% between 2014 and 2018, within six months of graduation.

3. Among university graduates in the labour force, about 80% were in full-time permanent employment. Less than 10% were in part-time or temporary employment, mostly by choice. This trend has held stable over the past five years.

4. However, polytechnic and ITE graduates are much more likely to take up part-time or temporary work by choice, as they plan to go on to further studies. This has increased over the years with the expansion of upgrading pathways.

5. Because of these reasons, the percentage of polytechnic and ITE graduates in the labour force who take up part-time, temporary or freelance work six months after graduation has risen from 24% in 2014 to 31% in 2018. Almost all of this is by choice.

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