Sentosa business group to help train ITE students

Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students who want to work in one of Sentosa's hotels or restaurants will soon get more help in training and upgrading from employers.

This is part of the Sentosa HarbourFront Business Association's (SHBA) plans to help students map out their career and academic progression, its chairman Goh Chye Boon said yesterday.

Mr Goh, who is also Resorts World Sentosa's executive vice-president of resort operations, told The Straits Times that the business association is in talks with ITE and polytechnics to see how its members, including hotel groups and attractions, can play a greater role in grooming students.

Many employers in the Sentosa HarbourFront area already have ITE students working part-time with them, he noted.

"But what we have not really done a lot is to manage their academic progression," he said.

He revealed that the association hopes to launch a programme by December, in line with the Education Ministry's Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (Aspire).

The Aspire committee, which Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah chairs, is exploring ways to strengthen career paths for polytechnic and ITE students through extended internships and deepening industry involvement.

In an interview earlier this month, Ms Indranee said that the team is past the mid-point of the review. Its recommendations will be presented in the second half of the year.

Mr Goh, who was speaking at SHBA's first career fair for ITE students yesterday, said a key issue is helping students enter polytechnics and making their prior work experience count.

One way is to work with institutions to allow students' workplace appraisals to count towards qualifying for polytechnics' diploma programmes, he said, adding that more details will come later.

At yesterday's fair, 16 employers from the Sentosa HarbourFront area gathered at ITE College West in Choa Chu Kang. On offer were more than 1,000 jobs in hotels, attractions, food and beverage, and retail sectors.

About 400 ITE students attended the event, which also featured a segment where employers told students about career prospects in tourism and hospitality, and a dialogue session with their seniors working in the area.

Among the organisations present were hotel groups like Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa and Moevenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa, and tourist attractions such as Sentosa 4D AdventureLand.

The four-month-old business association has more than 30 members, including Resorts World Sentosa and the Singapore Cruise Centre.

This article was published on April 26 in The Straits Times.

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