In 2008, Radali Bin Tuah, who graduated with a National Technical Certificate Grade 2 in Electronics (Wafer Fabrication) from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) in 2001, entered the vertical transport industry. He joined Hitachi Elevator Asia Pte Ltd, and grew to enjoy working in the industry. After ten years in the industry, Radali saw the need to upgrade his knowledge and skills further to keep up with technological advances in the industry. He jumped at the chance to do so when the Work-Study Diploma (WSDip) in Vertical Transport was launched in April 2019. Today, Radali is the top trainee in the pioneer graduating batch for this Work-Study diploma course.
“Having completed the Work-Study Diploma, I have been given more responsibilities. While I used to lead a team to do more maintenance work, I am now in a supervisory role. On top of dealing with more repairs and troubleshooting, I play a greater role in planning and managing the schedule and workload for the team,” said Radali, who hopes to build his career further in Hitachi.
Training for a Brighter Future
Like Radali, many of the WSDip trainees have seen more doors open for them. Jack Chong, a Nitec in Mechatronics graduate joined the Work-Study Diploma in Mechanical and Electrical Services Supervision. He said, “I learnt a lot in the course. Aside from technical knowledge, I picked up other important soft skills and learnt to communicate better with customers. Getting paid and receiving employee benefits while studying is another advantage.”
Jack chanced upon the Work-Study Diploma opportunity at a job fair. Though unfamiliar with the industry, he has since picked up enough field knowledge to be a solutions provider. His technical knowledge and ability to resolve differences with various stakeholders on site impressed his supervisor at Techniques Air Conditioning & Engineering Pte Ltd. Upon completing his diploma in end-September, his employer has entrusted him with greater responsibilities, promoted him to Project Engineer, and given him a substantial pay increment.
Radali and Jack are two of 13 Course Medallists who received their course medals from Minister for Education, Mr Chan Chun Sing, at the ITE Work-Study Diploma Awards Presentation Ceremony on 6 December 2021. These 13 are among 242 trainees from 13 WSDip courses who have completed their training in end-September 2021. The WSDip programme, which started in 2018 with just four courses, has expanded to 36 courses. This includes the addition of six new courses, which were launched during the ceremony. (See Annex for list of WSDip programmes)
A Valuable Partnership
The WSDip programme has also seen the number of participating companies increase ten-fold over the years, from just 41 in 2018 to 410 companies today. For employers, the WSDip programme has allowed them to take greater ownership of their employees’ training and development. ITE works in tandem with industry partners to provide a common curriculum that includes white space for businesses to incorporate additional company-specific training to suit their needs. Mr Francis Tan, Director of Human Capital & Development at Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel, said, “ITE values our feedback and makes changes to the curriculum to ensure that the knowledge and skills stay relevant for the industry.”
Ms Zerlinda Tan, Head of Talent Acquisition (South Asia) at Micron Technology, emphasises the importance of strong partnership with ITE, “We have a great collaboration with ITE in designing the curriculum. It enables the content of the programme to be relevant to Micron’s current and future skill demands, especially those related to automation, which is going to be the future of work.”
Gearing up for the Future
This feature of co-developing the curriculum is a key reason why so many companies have chosen to support the WSDip programme. In 2022, six new WSDip courses will be added. Eighty-nine companies have stepped forward to offer training places for these new WSDip courses: Applied Electronics & AI; Architectural BIM & Design; E-Commerce & Retail; IoT & Data Engineering; Land Transport Engineering; and Mechanical Systems Engineering. The companies on board the WSDip programme include new companies such as Cold Storage Singapore (1983) Pte Ltd and Unabiz Pte Ltd, as well as existing companies which are expanding their slate of programmes.
Cold Storage Singapore (1983) Pte Ltd will be offering the WSDip in E-commerce & Retail course. Their Director of Operations at DFI Retail Group Cold Storage Singapore, Mr Denesh Kumar, is eager to get new trainees on board. He said, “With a curriculum deeply rooted in the fundamentals of retail, and branching into future trends and technologies, this course will equip trainees with important skills and authentic workplace experience that any potential retail employers will value. There is always a high demand in the retail industry for good talent.”
The new WSDip in IoT and Data Engineering also offers companies looking to develop talents with future skills a ready pool of trainees. Mr Jonathan Tan, Managing Director, UnaBiz Pte Ltd said, “As Smart City applications and Digitalisation become more important, we will need more talents in IoT, Big Data, Hardware & Software Engineering to help Singapore achieve growth and sustainability goals. This WSDip will provide trainees with exposure to the IoT industry and the opportunity to work on actual industry-related projects.”
11 Bosch Rexroth Pte Ltd is already offering training places for three WSDip programmes - Automation Engineering, Logistics & Supply Chain Management and Marine & Offshore Engineering. The new WSDip in Applied Electronics and AI is the fourth course they are offering training places in. “The internal demand for engineers with industry 4.0-related skills has prompted our Management to offer training in the new course as we see relevant skillset being taught in the curriculum. The exposure and hands-on experience on the Advanced Manufacturing technologies, as well as training both in the classroom and at the factories, will equip the trainees with the necessary skillset to be a valuable talent for Bosch Rexroth, ” said Mr Peter Peh, Centre Director for the Bosch Rexroth Regional Training Centre.
WSDip Application Requirements
The WSDip programmes are open to both fresh and in-employment ITE graduates who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, and have:
• A relevant Nitec with a Grade Point Average (GPA) score of at least 2.0; or
• A relevant Higher Nitec
In-service employees with equivalent qualifications such as Workplace Literacy & Numeracy (WPLN) level 5 and above, relevant work experience and strong employer endorsement will also be considered.
Online application for 2022 intake has already started and will end on Saturday, 15 January 2022. Applicants can register via the ITE website at www.ite.edu.sg.
More information on the specific requirements for each programme can be found in the WSDip Course Booklet.
ITE Work-Study Diplomas
|No. ||Work-Study Diploma (WSDip) ||Date of Commencement |
|1 ||WSDip in Applied Electronics & AI ||April 2022 |
|2 ||WSDip in Architectural BIM & Design|
|3 ||WSDip in E-Commerce & Retail |
|4 ||WSDip in IoT & Data Engineering |
|5 ||WSDip in Land Transport Engineering |
|6 ||WSDip in Mechanical Systems Engineering |
|7 ||WSDip in Aircraft Cabin Engineering ||April 2021 |
|8 ||WSDip in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering |
*For full-time NSFs and NSmen
|9 ||WSDip in Cloud Management & Operations |
|10 ||WSDip in Event Management |
|11 ||WSDip in Fitness Management |
|12 ||WSDip in Opticianry |
|13 ||WSDip in Aircraft Engine Maintenance ||April 2020 |
|14 ||WSDip in Airport Operations |
|15 ||WSDip in Arboriculture & Horticulture |
|16 ||WSDip in Automation Engineering |
|17 ||WSDip in Culinary Arts & Management |
|18 ||WSDip in Cyber Security & Forensics |
|19 ||WSDip in Electrical Engineering |
|20 ||WSDip in IT System Integration |
|21 ||WSDip in Maritime Business Management |
|22 ||WSDip in Media Communication & Digital Marketing |
|23 ||WSDip in Chemical Process Technology ||April 2019 |
|24 ||WSDip in Community Engagement & Development |
|25 ||WSDip in Data Centre Infrastructure & Operation |
|26 ||WSDip in Hotel & Restaurant Management |
|27 ||WSDip in Lifestyle & Recreation Management |
|28 ||WSDip in Logistics & Supply Chain Management |
|29 ||WSDip in Microelectronics |
|30 ||WSDip in Patient Management & Services |
|31 ||WSDip in Port Automation Technology |
|32 ||WSDip in Vertical Transportation |
|33 ||WSDip in Marine & Offshore Engineering ||April 2018 |
|34 ||WSDip in Mechanical & Electrical Services Supervision |
|35 ||WSDip in Rehabilitation Care |
|36 ||WSDip in Security Systems Engineering |