SkillsFuture: Enhanced Internships to Strengthen Students' Learning at the Workplace

Published Date: 25 February 2015 12:00 AM

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1.The post-secondary education institutions (PSEIs), in collaboration with industry partners, will enhance internships to provide students with a more meaningful experience and better support for structured learning at the workplace. This is in line with the national SkillsFuture movement to develop an integrated, high quality system of education, training and career development that responds to constantly evolving industry needs.

2.Currently, almost all polytechnic courses, and about six in ten ITE courses have an internship component that provides students with exposure to a real work environment, including internships and projects in collaboration with industry partners. Many of these students undertake internships in their second or third year. They are usually attached to their host companies for an average of three months.

3.Enhancements to the internship curriculum under SkillsFuture are expected to be extended to half of all ITE courses and two-thirds of all polytechnic courses over the next two years, and for all ITE and polytechnic courses by 2020. These enhancements include establishing defined learning outcomes and structured activities during the internship that support these outcomes. The curriculum may also be adjusted to better integrate internships with learning in the classroom. Where appropriate, internships will also be extended in duration to support better learning and application of skills1. Further customisation of the internship programmes can also be done to meet the needs of the host companies. Some examples of recent collaborations between the polytechnics and industry to enhance internships include the Singtel Cadet Scholarship Programme with Singapore Polytechnic and Republic Polytechnic, and the Structured & Enhanced Training internship programme between Nanyang Polytechnic and GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals and Novartis Singapore.

4.With these enhancements, students will be exposed to more meaningful workplace attachments to better connect their learning to the workplace and deepen their skills, so that they are better prepared for their transition to the workplace.


5.The review of internships and the type of enhancements to be made will be led by School Directors and Course Managers of the respective institutions and courses, in collaboration with host companies. The enhancements to internships will be rolled out to two-thirds of all polytechnic courses and half of all ITE courses over the next two years.

6.The five Autonomous Universities - the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the Singapore Management University (SMU), the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) - and SIM University (UniSIM) will continue to place emphasis on aligning their programmes with industry needs, through both programme curricula and internships. In particular, SIT and UniSIM, which are pioneering the applied degree pathway at the university level, feature structured internships integrating work and study as part of their core curricula.

  1. Taking the Marine and Offshore Engineering sector as an example, under the current programme structure, a student in the Diploma in Marine and Offshore Technology (MOT) programme at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) would typically participate in a three-month (or 12-week) long internship in his/her third year. By 2016, the entire cohort of MOT students can look forward to a six-month (24-week) long structured internship with the industry. Keppel Offshore & Marine and Sembcorp Marine have agreed to host at least 200 interns yearly and their internships would be structured according to detailed task scopes drawn up by the institutions together with industry.
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