Students who are graduating from sectors that have been badly affected by COVID-19 will be given career guidance by schools, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo in Parliament on Monday (2 November).
She said this in response to question raised by Tampines GRC Member of Parliament Desmond Choo, who asked how will the Manpower Ministry (MOM) be helping students majoring in aerospace, aviation and hospitality who are graduating next year.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these sectors have been hardly-hit given that international travelling have come to a halt.
Ms Teo revealed that Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) have begun career guidance and assistance programmes for students, as well as help to look into “adjacent career opportunities”.
“We are organising career fairs that feature job opening in adjacent sectors which will make good use of the graduates’ education and skills,” she said.
If that’s not all, the Manpower Minister also pointed out that the IHLs are also introducing new electives for students in order to help them build skills that are sought after, like data analytics and visualisation, programming and digital marketing.
“In general, employers are open to accepting good candidates across a range of disciplines. Candidates will also have better opportunities if they are open to trying out positions outside of the disciplines they are trained in, or look beyond positions that many applicants have focused on,” she said.
Ms Teo added that the Education Ministry’s Graduate Employment Survey for graduates in 2020 will be released in the first quarter of 2021, and this will offer some indication on the opportunities for students graduating in 2021.
As a reply to supplementary questions asked by Mr Choo, the Manpower Minister noted that about half of the students in aerospace engineering could still get internships related to their course.
The remaining half managed to secure internships in other industries like manufacturing, where they are able to apply their skills.
As for those in aviation management, about 60 percent of students got internship offers, even if it is not related in their field of study, she said.
“That gives us a sense as to how the collective efforts of agencies involved, together with the students own willingness to step out of their comfort zone – they have been able to secure meaningful internships which we believe will enable them to be better positioned for the job market.”