Nineteen-year-old Kartii, who goes by one name, has always wanted to be a hairdresser.
So he applied to the hair fashion and design course at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) after he received his N-level results last year.
But the course was a popular one, and Mr Kartii, who had failed English and mathematics, did not qualify.
He was advised by ITE officers to apply for other courses, such as laser and tooling technology or mechatronics, which deals with electronics and mechanical engineering.
At a loss, the former Si Ling Secondary student went back to his secondary school and asked the vice-principal, Mr Adrian Tan, for advice.
Mr Tan referred him to the Youth Employment and Advancement Hub, also known as Yeah, which prepares young people who are not in school for long-term employment.
At the hub, Mr Kartii's career coach, Ms Jencie Vijaya, arranged for him to attend a Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications course on hairdressing.
After that, he was matched to a job at hairdressing company Toni and Guy.
Mr Kartii, now a trainee, works a six-day week - five days at the Toni and Guy Rochester Mall outlet, and one day at the hair salon's training centre.
His schedule is hectic, but he is happy to be given the opportunity.
"If my vice-principal didn't push me to come to this place, I would probably be in ITE in a course I had no interest in," he said.
Mr Tan said: "We felt that the vocational route was best for him and referred him to Yeah.
"We knew they would be able to help him find a course most suited to him."
This article was first published on May 11, 2015.
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