Temasek Poly's new initiative to boost prospects of fresh graduates
Having witnessed first-hand how the tourism industry was so badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Miss Jemi Aw was worried about her job prospects.
The 19-year-old, who recently graduated from Temasek Polytechnic (TP) with a diploma in hospitality and tourism management, was undergoing her internship at a travel agency when the outbreak began.
She said: "From the moment we heard about the virus, our sales really plummeted."
It was a struggle, and she recalled how a number of the company's employees had to take no-pay leave as part of cost-cutting measures.
Worried about the current state of the tourism industry, Miss Aw plans to sign up for a data analytics for investment and marketing course to upskill herself.
The course is part of the Graduate Career Kick-Starter initiative that TP has piloted for its current graduating cohort.
The initiative will use job finders, upskilling courses, and career counselling to help fresh graduates. It is expected to benefit roughly 5,000 students.
TP has identified 17 SkillsFuture courses for its students, including in digital, communication, financial management and problem-solving and critical thinking.
The polytechnic will provide a one-time $500 credit for every graduate that signs up for a course.
The initiative's career counselling course caught the attention of aviation management and services graduate Clement Koh.
Mr Koh, whose father works as a technician at SIA Engineering Company, hopes the initiative will put him in touch with a recruitment specialist.
"This will sharpen my interview skills and help me refine my resume," said the 20-year-old.
TP's industry partner, Kelly Services, will provide up to 20 hours of career counselling per week.
While both graduates are worried about a hiring freeze due in the current climate, they are optimistic that taking up Graduate Career initiative will better prepare them for the working world.
"I hope I can pick up better skills and deeper knowledge to be fully ready for the working world," Miss Aw said.
Mr Koh said the upskilling courses would give them more options during the economic slowdown.
"They (prospective employers) will see that I have knowledge or expertise in a few areas so they might still want to take me in," he said.
"For us fresh graduates, we're still not really sure what we'll be doing in the future, and this could help us decide and work towards the direction we want."