ITE's 10-year Master Plan to be completed in January 2013
The Institute of Technical Education or ITE's 10-Year Master Plan will soon be completed with the opening of the new ITE College Central in January 2013.
But the work in Singapore's technical and vocational education sectors is far from over, says the country's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Teo Chee Hean, when he opened the Singapore International Technical and Vocational Education Conference.
Nearly 400 delegates received a rousing welcome from students of technical and vocational education, the subject matter of the inaugural conference in Singapore.
For Mr Teo, who was involved with the development of these sectors in the 1990s when he was Education Minister, says such training has provided Singaporeans with the skills needed to secure good jobs.
But industry's demands have evolved over time says Mr Teo.
"Partnerships with industry are becoming increasingly important. With the rapid advance of technology, more and more jobs are being created in new and emerging economic sectors. Start-ups and smaller companies will also offer new and exciting jobs, to complement larger companies and organisations. The models adopted by our institutions have successfully blended theory and practice, but we must always keep an eye on the horizon and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments. For our youths to succeed in tomorrow's world. Tthey will also need greater adaptability and a stronger ability to collaborate with others, including a good measure of cross-cultural intelligence that will enable them to work across boundaries, languages and cultures. They will also need to build up multi-disciplinary knowledge, new media literacy and a total product or total service design mindset."
In his speech Mr Teo says that each year from the cohort of secondary school students graduating, nearly forty percent of them enter the various technical and vocational education training centres to further their education.
Also, after they graduate nearly 92 percent of them are able to secure their jobs within six months after graduation.
All this has helped to keep Singapore's youth unemployment rate low.
John Maddock, conference speaker and CEO of Box Hill Institute, an adult learning institute in Melbourne, Australia, says polytechnics and ITEs play important roles in the economy.
"There is alot of research that has shown that graduates that come through get employability straight away and not only employability, they get income that enables them to participate socially and economically in communities.
During the conference, delegates will also get a chance to see at first hand the courses conducted by the ITEs and polytechnics, during field visits."
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