Press Release - NTUC and ITE Collaborate to Enhance Staff Capability and Student Development

News details
  • Publish date:13 Oct 2020

The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) today. Both MOUs share a common goal of people development, be it through training initiatives codeveloped with staff unions or youth programmes providing work exposure and promoting character building. Guest-of-Honour, Mr Ng Chee Meng, Secretary-General of NTUC, witnessed the signing of the MOUs.


Upskilling ITE Staff through Company Training Committee – ITE x UITS x AUPE MOU

In the first MOU, signed by ITE, Union of the ITE Training Staff (UITS) and the Amalgamated Union of Public Employee (AUPE), an ITE-Union Company Training Committee (ITE-Union CTC) will be set up. 

The CTC will provide a collaborative platform for ITE and its staff union to keep abreast of emerging skills and technology, identifying developmental needs and learning opportunities for ITE staff through a ground-up approach. This CTC will complement ITE’s Staff Capability Development Framework which supports competency programmes specific to ITE staff, focusing on the following three priorities – skills relevance, workforce agility and lifelong learning. NTUC’s union members and partners can also leverage ITE’s niche CET (Continuing Education and Training) capabilities for more targeted training opportunities and courses to upskill or reskill themselves and keep up with the changing industry landscape. More than 2,500 staff will benefit from this CTC.

The three-year agreement was signed by Ms Low Khah Gek, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ITE; Mr Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari, General Secretary, AUPE; and Mr Paul Sim Sian Khoo, President, UITS. The signing was witnessed by GOH SG Ng; Mr Heng Guan Teck,  Deputy CEO (Corporate & Human Resource), ITE; Ms Sabrina Loi, Chief Officer, Organisation Excellence & International Partnerships and Covering Dean, ITE Academy; Mr Elson Koh, General Secretary, UITS; Ms Faith Hong, General Treasurer, UITS; Mr Anbuselvan Ramachandran, Branch Chairman, AUPE-ITE Staff Branch; and Ms Leong Wai Fong, Branch Secretary, AUPE-ITE Staff Branch. 


Nurturing Work-Ready Students – NTUC Club x ITE MOU 

Besides enhancing staff competencies, ITE constantly seeks new ways to nurture students holistically to be well-rounded individuals. The previous MOUs signed in 2012 and 2015 between ITE and NTUC Club saw several community events organised to provide opportunities for ITE students to hone their entrepreneurship and leadership skills, and give back to society. The desire to continue and renew the strong partnership for the third time led to the inking of a MOU among ITE, NTUC Club and NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute).

The three-year MOU was signed by Mr Lim Eng Lee, CEO, NTUC Club; Ms Vicky Wong, Deputy CEO, NTUC’s e2i; and Ms Low Khah Gek, CEO, ITE. The witnesses were GOH SG Ng; Mr Gilbert Tan, CEO, NTUC’s e2i; Mr Suresh Natarajan, Principal, ITE College Central; Dr Yek Tiew Ming, Principal, ITE College East; Ms Alice Seow, Principal, ITE College West; and Mr Elson Koh, General Secretary, UITS and former member of NTUC Club Management Council.

With a deeper emphasis on preparing ITE students for the workforce, ITE, NTUC Club and NTUC’s e2i will collaborate in areas relating to student internships, learning journeys and job placement services, as well as other Youth Club leadership and character-building initiatives under nEbO’s Headstart programme. 

nEbO is the youth membership arm of NTUC run by NTUC Club. Through NTUC Club’s extended network of unionised companies, ITE students would be offered internships (relevant to their courses) for a duration of up to six months. NTUC’s e2i will facilitate the job placement services, learning journeys, seminars or workshops, for eligible graduating students and fresh graduates from ITE, thereby increasing their job prospects. This is amongst other dialogues, networking sessions, and work exposure initiatives, which aim to extend ITE students’ exposure to the various industries, thus, allowing them to make more informed career decisions. nEbO will also partner ITE Youth Club to develop a series of leadership and character-building programmes that could further enhance the students’ soft skills.

NTUC Club will source, through its network of unionised companies, for individuals to participate in ITE’s CET courses where relevant. NTUC Club will also partner with ITE to customise and deliver short courses in areas such as, design, software and digitalisation, to support staff capability development of NTUC Club or relevant unionised companies.

Guest of Honour, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng shared “NTUC has mustered our capabilities to protect our workers and assist them in upskilling. While we continue to introduce Company Training Committee with our partners, it is also important to take the lead in providing the students with internship opportunities and cultivate their spirit of learning and development. Hence, I am heartened to witness this partnership between NTUC Club and ITE being renewed. NTUC’s e2i, as the ecosystem manager for the NTUC Job Security Council will continue to assist our members to match their broad skillsets with available jobs. Whatever your age, NTUC will be here for you.”


- End of Media Release - 


Quotes from MOU Signatories


“The formation of a CTC creates good synergy between our management and unions, as we align our staff development plans with their aspirational goals and organisational needs. This will definitely expedite transformation within ITE, as we build new capabilities and develop new programmes in response to Singapore’s changing economy, jobs and skills landscape. The collaboration with the training arm and youth wing of NTUC opens new opportunities for ITE students to develop industry-relevant hard and soft skills. This two-pronged approach creates development opportunities for both ITE staff and ITE students.”

~ Ms Low Khah Gek, Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Technical Education (ITE)  UITS


“The CTC is a timely platform that UITS can use to engage and review the learning needs of our members. The pandemic has led to career switches and thrown a spotlight on retraining and re-skilling. We encourage all members to adopt a growth mindset which embraces lifelong learning, especially in new Industry 4.0 and digital skills that can combat technological disruptions. While members develop their professional competencies, our students can also benefit from a more comprehensive education. As educators, we need to groom the future generation of workers and one of the ways is to work with like-minded partners such as NTUC and NTUC’s e2i. We hope that our graduates will become NTUC union members, so that when they enter the job market or face challenges in employment, NTUC can be there for them.”

Mr Paul Sim Sian Khoo, President, Union of the ITE Training Staff (UITS)



“I am heartened to see ITE making a commitment to work closely with UITS and AUPE in upskilling and training our workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that there is a need to constantly upgrade oneself to keep up with the rapid changes. The timely establishment of this CTC will enable AUPE to hear the concerns and feedback from  workers on the ground and surface it to ITE, so that together, we will be able to come up with comprehensive training that targets the pain points of our workers. With both sides  working in close partnership, our workers will be able benefit from the resources of the partnerships..”

Mr Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari, General Secretary, Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE) 



“It is exciting to see how our partnership with ITE has grown over the years, benefiting students who are the workers of tomorrow. Many of these students eventually become very active nEbO members and champions of community projects to give back to society, for example, Care programmes for the underprivileged. The nEbO Headstart programme complements our existing World and Life-Ready offerings by preparing the youth to be Work-Ready through various jobs exposure and upskilling programmes.”

Mr Lim Eng Lee, Chief Executive Officer, NTUC Club


NTUC’s e2i

“There is an unprecedented scale in transformation happening across industries and at the workplaces and this is magnified by the pandemic. The two partnerships inked with ITE and NTUC Club are important catalysts to bring ample training support to workers and students, move them in tandem with the pace of transformation and equip them for the future. NTUC’s e2i will continue to work closely with ITE, UITS, AUPE and NTUC Club to harness jobs and training opportunities through our networks to help both workers and students succeed in their careers.” 

Mr Gilbert Tan, Chief Executive Officer, NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute)


Quotes from ITE Students Involved in nEbO’s Activities

Full Name: Sahfuan Bin Zainal
Course & College: Nitec in Infocomm Technology, ITE College East, Year 1
Age: 17

On 22 August 2020, Sahfuan joined 13 other students in ‘The LIT Conversation’, via a video-conference with Mr Desmond Choo, Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC. Mr Choo shared about the current job climate during this pandemic. 

“I asked if the IT sector is going to be a challenging sector as a lot of youth are currently studying IT and several industries are looking for competent IT professionals. Mr Choo noted that companies are starting to advance their network, so they will need more IT staff; and he agreed that youth are starting to learn more about IT and even AI. I found the conversation very insightful as I learnt that some of the skills in demand for the future job market are: complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. 

After graduating from ITE, I would like to deepen my skills with a diploma in IT, then pursue a career in the public sector. I’m interested in how technology has changed in the past few decades. My dream job is to become an IT or Network Administrator.”  
Full Name: Nur Hayati Binte Maszeman
Course & College: Higher Nitec in Human Resource Administration, ITE College Central, Year 2
Age: 19
Hayati participated in ‘Befriending with nEbO’ programme where she interacted virtually with seniors from a nursing home. Over four weekends from July to August 2020, two students were assigned to a virtual room to befriend about six to 10 seniors. 
“I would say that I am very happy and proud to be able to conduct virtual sessions with the seniors, with the help of my teammate, Shafiqah, over four Saturday mornings. Previously, it was difficult for us to communicate with them due to language barrier, but at the end of the day, we managed to get them to participate in activities. The most memorable one would be the stretching activity. Based on online exercise video clips,
Shafiqah and I reenacted the simple exercise routine and surprisingly, the elderly started to follow our demonstration. It was a nice feeling to see them stretching with those smiles on their faces.  
I have always wanted to do voluntary work, to be part of something meaningful, in making a change to the society or community, but I did not know where I should begin. The moment when my lecturer informed the class about nEbO, their initiatives and their upcoming projects, I decided to join nEbO, to kick start my volunteering journey.”  
In June and September 2020, Hayati also attended two talks by Human Resource professionals organised under nEbO’s Headstart programme.  
“The two talks gave me better insights on how the Human Resource industry actually works. It is more than just handling day-to-day work challenges and meeting the company’s goals. It seems exciting as a HR practitioner handles employees within the company. It’s all about people management. Without effective Human Resource Management, I think businesses could face serious legal and productivity issues. I also learnt how different companies changed their protocol and adapted work process due to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.”  
Full Name: Chua Pei Rong Sharlyn
Course & College: Higher Nitec in Service Management, ITE College West, Year 1
Age: 17
Despite not having any knowledge in sewing, Sharlyn took the plunge to try something totally new, just to heed the urgent call for more face masks. Sharlyn participated in ‘Mask For All’ activity where she was tasked to sew face masks for youths in need. As an absolute beginner in sewing, she gamely picked up the basics of sewing and went ahead to complete five face masks within three weeks.
“I learnt more about myself through this activity. I realised that I can actually sew in a neat and organised manner! I did not know how to sew before this event so I made some mistakes along the way. I had to resew the first mask as I felt that the stitching was not neat enough. I wanted to give up a couple of times but managed to persevere through. This activity taught me patience as it takes time to create a product, and not to crave instant gratification. It’s also important to have a ‘never give up’ spirit when the going gets tough. Knowing that I would be able to help others made this activity more meaningful, too.”