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New work-study programme for graduates of Northlight, Assumption Pathway schools

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SINGAPORE: Graduates of Northlight School and Assumption Pathway School (APS) will be able to pursue a new two-year work-study programme, should they be unable to enter the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) or feel they are not ready to start work independently.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) on Wednesday (Nov 5) said the move is part of efforts to bring out the best in every child by providing different pathways that cater to different learning needs.

The programme, which begins in February next year, will be offered to the cohort of graduating students from the two schools this year. It expects to cater to about 90 students every year.

Under the programme, students will undergo on-the-job training with on-site support by school personnel for three days a week. Some of the jobs offered include those related to the hospitality and F&B industries, and students can expect to receive an allowance of between S$450 and S$500 monthly.

The students will undergo learning modules for the remaining two days of the week.

MOE said it has partnered companies such as Metro, Park Hotel Group, Pastamania and Crossings Cafe in the programme.

MOE added that the training will be aligned to the standards of the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) and students will receive a WSQ certificate in Career Readiness. They will also receive career coaching and counselling to help them develop the competencies that potential companies look for in employees.

Eric Leong, principal of the Assumption Pathway School, said the difference in this programme lies in its emphasis on practical skills.

He said: “When they come back for the academy, we focus a lot on very practical things. For example, how do you do an interview with your potential boss? How do you communicate with your customers?”

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat noted that with the many pathways available, students would be encouraged to continue learning.

He said: “In some instances, it is better for the students to acquire some on-the-job experience, and then continue to see how they continue to look at their areas of interest, and then build on those, and they can have opportunities to take on a range of different learning experiences, to continue to acquire different qualifications.

“So whether the qualification is a WSQ qualification, or an ITE, or NITEC, it does not matter. I think what matters most is that they continue to learn, and they continue to enjoy what they do.”

Alex Zhang, a student from APS, believes the new programme is beneficial.

“My personal aim is to go to ITE after I graduate, but in case I do not get a place in ITE, I can proceed with this programme, which is the APS Academy. I believe it benefits me in many ways because it is linked to a company by the school, so we can go to the company to work and get salaries at the same time while we are working,” he said.

“There are many benefits for us to learn, as well as to take up a part-time job. And if we have done well, in one or two years, we can go and be a full-time worker over there,” he added.