SINGAPORE - Most Singaporean students say they are keen to work overseas, yet many local firms struggle to find staff willing to be posted abroad.
The discrepancy has prompted eight companies to hire undergraduates they feel they can groom for international roles.
The firms, including Charles & Keith and Eu Yan Sang, have awarded scholarships to 12 candidates under IE Singapore's Young Talent Programme.
The programme was launched in March to help firms build up a pipeline of talent to help drive their internationalisation plans.
IE Singapore will reimburse 70 per cent of the scholarship costs and recipients will be expected to work with the company for a year for each year of funding received.
Four other undergraduates received the IE Singapore scholarship and will join the trade promotion agency after graduation.
A recent IE Singapore study found that 90 per cent of students polled expressed an interest in taking up an overseas job, especially in developing markets, said Mr S. Iswaran, Second Minister for Trade and Industry, at the scholarship ceremony on Friday.
But at the same time, he noted, competition for talent in the region is intensifying.