Engineering student gets to Earn & Learn

Ms Fu DeQi (second), at the ceremony to mark the Joint-ELP collaboration among the 5 local polytechnics, SUSS and SIT, on 24 May 2017

Want to earn a market-competitive diploma holder’s salary while you pursue a degree?  Well, now you can.

That’s what Ms Fu DeQi, who graduated with a Diploma in Integrated Facility Management (IFM) in May 2017, is doing.  The 20-year-old is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Facilities & Events Management at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), while working as an FM Executive at Exceltec Property Management Pte Ltd, under the national SkillsFuture Earn & Learn Programme (ELP) introduced by the government in 2015.

Under a Joint-ELP, fresh polytechnic graduates (those who had graduated or completed their full time national service within 3 years) will get placed with employers under a 12 to 18-month contract, during which they and learn through structured on-the-job training and mentorship, as well as concurrent part-time studies for a degree in a related field.  During this time, they are paid a competitive salary for diploma holders – usually about S$2,000 per month.  In addition, those who join the scheme within a year of graduation will get a sign-on bonus of S$5,000.

Besides acquiring relevant work experience and skills valued by the industry, participants may also enjoy skills-based wage increments and better career prospects in their company, as well as credit exemptions for their degree programme.

When Ms Fu DeQi completes the 9 selected modules which she is doing at SUSS during her 18-month stint with her employer, she will enjoy credit exemptions of up to 50 credit units and effectively shorten her university course by up to one year. 

Isn’t it tough studying and working at the same time? “Well, if you work and study at the same time, you can get knowledge of work and school, and apply them together, so it is more efficient and helps me to learn faster,” says the dynamic former student of Pei Hwa Sec School. “The ELP is like a fast track multi-tasking programme that suits me perfectly,” she adds.