Distinguished guests Ladies and Gentlemen 1. Good morning. Thank you for inviting me to witness the signing of seven Letters of Collaboration between ITE and industry partners from the sports, event management and technology sector. 2. Today, we celebrate the beginnings of new partnerships between ITE and local industry leaders. These partnerships are critical to our training landscape, given the shortening skills cycles arising from rapid industry transformation. More than ever, it is critical for institutions and industry to co-develop training programmes and opportunities that equip both students and staff with frontier skills to ensure continued employability. 3. ITE has been at the forefront of empowering our students with industry-relevant skills and experience, particularly through the Work-Study Diplomas, or WSDips. I am happy to hear that our industry partners, Constellar, GlobalSign.in, Professional Convention Management Association and the Singapore Badminton Association, have extended their WSDip agreements with ITE. In straddling the classroom and the workplace, learners get to immediately apply the skills that they have picked up, and sharpen other critical soft skills, with the guidance of experienced mentors. Learning is timely and relevant which benefit both employer and trainees. 4. Employers also get to tap on the insights of WSDip learners, and enjoy first picks from a well-trained talent pipeline that enables the company’s continued growth. The WSDip programme not only equips graduates with a diploma qualification, but also nurtures skillsets and competencies that are desired and relevant to the industry. To date, 1,204 graduates have completed their WSDips with salary outcomes comparable to Diploma graduates from our polytechnics. ITE has expanded its WSDips courses from 4 to 40 today and will continue to engage industry partners to offer more. 5. I’m glad to hear that our learners have benefitted greatly from the WSDip programme. One example is Rezeanty, who took up the WSDip in Lifestyle and Recreation Management. An employee of Sembawang Country Club, the Work-Study course arrangement offered her the flexibility to earn and learn at the same time. Her newly acquired skillsets were recognised by her employer, and she was promoted recently to oversee advanced golf operations and event coordination. Well done, Rezeanty! 6. Expanding these collaborations will thus provide our students more opportunities to re-skill and upskill. For instance, the WSDip in Lifestyle and Recreation Management offered by ITE and the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) will support students who are former athletes to re-skill and equip themselves with new skillsets to kick start their second careers as recreation officers or sports executives. 7. Even as ITE and our Institutes of Higher Learning collaborate with industry to deepen learners’ skills mastery, I would like to invite more employers to partner us in rewarding their upgrading efforts. I am heartened that ITE’s partners have led the way, by recognising our graduates’ enhanced skillsets with fair remuneration. One such example is the Children-At-Risk Empowerment Association, or CARE Singapore, a charity that empowers at-risk-youths to succeed. Under CARE Singapore’s mentorship, Jea Yee (pronounced ‘Jia Yee’) from the WSDip in Community Engagement and Development, had sharpened her skills in communications and stakeholder management, to effectively coordinate the provision of social and care services for their target beneficiaries. On her graduation, CARE Singapore further promoted Jea Yee from the role of Youth Assistant to Youth Associate, in recognition of her new skillsets and potential to contribute at a higher level. Of course, CARE Singapore also raised her salary commensurate to her Diploma qualification and skillset. 8. Jea Yee’s example highlights the important role that industry plays in uplifting the prospects of our upgraders. When employers give due recognition through promotions and salary increase to those who upgrade and refresh their skillsets, they encourage our learners to upskill, and support our whole-of-society effort at narrowing the salary gaps between graduates with different starting qualifications. 9. Besides the WSDips, our industry partners, including UnUsUaL Productions, Esports Entertainment Asia and Garmin Singapore, will also collaborate with ITE on student internships, learning activities, and staff attachments. 10. Garmin, for example, will provide ITE students with the opportunity to understand more about active programming by tapping onto their extensive real-time data such as geospatial data and heart rate data. Students will also get to experience first-hand how Garmin applies data driven strategies in their wearable technology products. 11. These opportunities will allow students and staff to gain valuable insights into the sports, event management and technology sectors, and strengthen our teaching and learning practices in these areas. 12. Allow me to end by thanking once again our industry partners for your strong partnerships with ITE and invite you to continue enhancing our training landscape with us. It is through such close collaboration that we can secure a more well trained workforce able to adapt and respond to new industry needs. I look forward to hearing more success stories of our learners who have benefitted from the collaborations between ITE and our industry partners in the years to come. 13. Thank you.