New programme gives ITE students public service work experience, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

New programme gives ITE students public service work experience

Students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) can try their hand at working in the public service through an internship programme that started in early 2023.

The Public Service-ITE Internship Programme allows students to learn new skills and competencies and explore various career opportunities in public service, said a Public Service Division (PSD) spokeswoman on Feb 15. 

The programme was launched as part of Public Service for Good, a movement started by PSD in July 2023 to give public officers the opportunity to contribute to causes outside their job scope, she added.

Since the launch, more than 110 ITE students have been given internship roles across more than 20 public service agencies, covering job areas such as service delivery, information technology, community services and social media. 

Students in the programme are tagged to a mentor, who will guide them during the internship, said an ITE spokesman on Feb 15. Mentors share career advice and experiences, as well as encourage them during the stint. 

Dr Jason Tan, an associate professor from the National Institute of Education, said the internship programme is in line with the ongoing discussion about the definition of merit.

He said: “For too long, merit has been almost too focused on educational qualifications, so this is an example of the public service trying to broaden the definition of merit through recruitment.”

He added that the programme sends a strong signal to the wider public about the civil service opening itself to the possibility of recruiting a wider diversity of individuals.

ITE students will have access to valuable social networks that come from these internships, which is a key benefit of the programme, said Dr Tan.

“It widens these students’ thinking on the possibilities out there for them, encouraging them to think bigger and broaden their horizons,” he added.

“Currently, the networks these students have often limit their options and they don’t know what is available out there for them.”