The Earn and Learn program is a work-study program designed to give fresh graduates from polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) a head-start in careers related to their discipline of study. It provides them with more opportunities to build on the skills and knowledge they acquired in school after graduation, and to better support their transition into the workforce.
Participating employers can also recruit local fresh talent and prepare them to take up suitable job roles within the organization and participants can look forward to a structured career progression pathway.
The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Program is designed in collaboration with industry to ensure relevance to employers. Starting in 2015, the program will be progressively implemented in different sectors, eventually covering up to one in three polytechnic and ITE graduates.
Key Features of SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme
- Participants will be matched to suitable employers related to their disciplines of study, thus allowing them to deepen skills acquired in school, through workplace learning and mentorship.
- Participants will undergo structured on-the-job training and mentorship, leading to industry-recognized certification.
- Participants will be assigned mentors and be supported in continual skills development in accordance with the company’s talent development plan.
- Participants will have a well-structured career development pathway in the company.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will fresh polytechnic and ITE graduates benefit from the programme?
Polytechnic and ITE graduates will get a head-start in their careers by:
- Acquiring relevant work experience and skills valued by the industry
- Attaining industry-recognized qualifications / certificates
- Enjoying skills-based wage increments and meaningful career advancement pathways upon programme completion and satisfactory job performance
The industry-recognized qualifications / certificates will vary from sector to sector, and from job to job. They may include Singapore Workforce Skills, Qualifications (WSQ) qualifications, or qualifications issuedby the polytechnics and ITE such as Advanced or Specialist Diplomas.
Participants can potentially receive a wage increase upon completion of programme if they perform well and take on enlarged job scopes made possible because of the skills they acquire in the course of the programme.
What are some of the targeted sectors for the SkillsFuture Earn-and-Learn Programme, and when will the sectorial programmes be rolled out?
SkillsFuture Earn-and-Learn Programmes will be introduced in phases, starting with a few sectors in 2015 such as Food Manufacturing, F&B, Logistics and Retail.
Who are the employers under the programme, and how have they been selected?
Employers under the programme come from various sectors. They have been selected based on their ability and commitment to providing quality workplace training and meaningful career development opportunities for fresh graduates.
Will participants be allowed to choose their preferred employer?
Participants may indicate their preferred employer on the application form when they apply through the Programme Manager. The Programme Manager will forward all applications for participating employers’ consideration. Subject to the hiring and interview processes of each employer, participants may receive offers from more than one employer and may then select their preferred employer.
What is the total number of participants that will be accepted into the programme?
Depending on the number of employers and vacancies available, the total number of participants accepted may vary from sector to sector.
How long is the programme?
The duration ranges from 12 to 18 months depending on the sector, job and training requirements.
Will participants be paid during the programme?
Yes. To be on this programme, applicants need to be shortlisted and interviewed by participating employer(s). Successful candidates will be offered a job with competitive industry starting salaries and relevant staff benefits. The starting salary is dependent on the job role/position, as well as the employer.
Must the job placement be directly related to the field of study?
Yes, as the programme is designed to give fresh graduates a head-start in careers related to their discipline of study.
Who is eligible to participate in the programme?
Fresh polytechnic and ITE graduates who are Singaporeans or PRs may participate in the programme. However, only Singaporeans will receive the sign-on incentive. Employers will receive the same grant regardless of whether the participant is a Singaporean or PR.
Fresh graduates are defined as those individuals who are hired by participating companies within 12 months after their graduation from the polytechnics or ITE (based on the graduation date as stated on the Diploma/NITEC/Higher NITEC certificates).
For male participants who need to serve National Service (NS), the 12-month period will start from their operationally-ready date (ORD).
Are fresh polytechnic and ITE graduates eligible to participate in the programme if they are already employed?
Yes, if the employer is on the programme or plans to sign up for it soon.
Are polytechnic and ITE graduates eligible to participate in the programme if they have been working for some time (say, a few years)?
Polytechnic and ITE graduates who have been working since graduation for a few years and already hired by participating employers may be eligible for the programme. Assessment will be on a case-by-case basis. However, the sign-on incentive will not be applicable as they are not considered fresh graduates. Employers will also need to provide suitable career progression pathways for these non-fresh Polytechnic or ITE graduates if they wish to accept them.
Are graduates from universities or private education institutions eligible to participate in the programme?
No. The programme is only open to local (Singaporean/PR) fresh polytechnics and ITE graduates.
How can fresh polytechnic and ITE graduates sign up for the programme?
Steps for registration will be available in SkillsFuture Earn-and-Learn Programme Details
Will participants be required to pay any fees?
Participants will not be required to pay any fees. The course fees for the programme will be borne by the employers, and the Government will be providing employer grants to help offset the cost of the programme.
How much is the sign-on incentive?
Each Singaporean who is successfully placed on the programme will receive a sign-on incentive of S$5,000, which will be disbursed in two tranches.
Will participants be allowed to withdraw from the programme?
Participants who withdraw from the programme will be required to return the sign-on incentive. Participants are strongly encouraged to complete the programme so that they can realize its benefits.
Will participants have to return the sign-on incentive if they are asked to leave, or if their employment has been terminated by the employer?
Participants who are asked to leave, or have their employment terminated by the employer, will be required to return the sign-on incentive. Exceptions may be granted based on considerations of the extent of the individual’s commitment to the programme, conduct during the programme, control over the withdrawal etc.
Will participants have to return the sign-on incentive if they join another firm which is also on the programme?
The Programme Manager will assess each case, taking into account the impact on the employer and the participant’s ability to complete the programme.
Will participants be bonded to their employers?
There is generally no bond imposed on the participant. However, for certain sectors, the cost of training may be extremely high. Employers may hence need to bond participants. Any bond required will be stated clearly in the programme factsheet or highlighted in the application form.