90 per cent of Lasalle grads find job within 4 months: Dr Yaacob

SINGAPORE - Ninety per cent of diploma and degree students from Lasalle College of the Arts received job offers within four months upon graduation last year, said Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim at the institute's 27th convocation this afternoon.

The media, design and performing arts sectors are currently growing and continue to play an increasingly important role in Singapore, said Dr Yaacob.

Addressing the audience at Expo, Dr Yaacob highlighted the achievements of past Lasalle graduands, sharing their success in various sectors of the arts industry after leaving school. One of the alumni he highlighted was Mr Zulkifle Mahmod who graduated in 1997. In 2007, he became Singapore's first sound artist to showcase at the 52nd Venice Biennale.

In his speech, Dr Yaacob also talked about the government's plans to grow the arts scene in Singapore. The minister said the government has plans in place to grow the opportunities in the arts sector by providing funding and infrastructural support.

Some of the initiatives which have been carried out include a $200 million pledge, which was announced last year to grow and engage the local arts community, and the launch of new art space, the Aliwal Arts Centre, this June.

People can also look forward to the opening of the National Design Centre at the end of this year, a facility for design activities and classes and the opening of newly renovated Victoria Concert Hall and Theatre next year.

Dr Yaacob said the government will increase funding support to local artists and arts groups and make the arts accessible with high quality arts venues.

The National Arts Council, for instance, revised its grants scheme this year to support a diverse range of art forms and applicants. According to Dr Yaacob, close to $100 million of funds will be made available through the grants over five years, which is nearly a 140 per cent increase from the preceding five years.