Graduating NUS students will receive a leg-up in their job hunt, amid the tough job market brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown.
The University has announced the ‘Resilience and Growth’ (R&G) Initiative to support the graduating cohort with 1,000 full-time salaried positions and paid traineeships in diverse professional roles in multiple fields. The initiative includes a comprehensive suite of courses for graduates to continue to upskill and improve their employability as they await an improvement in the economic climate.
“Graduating students are concerned that they cannot land good jobs. The idea of the R&G Initiative is to provide them with opportunities that have strong development potential and which will give them an edge in a competitive market,” said Professor Ho Teck Hua, NUS Senior Deputy President and Provost, adding that NUS has strong government support for this initiative.
The 1,000 positions consist of 200 full-time positions within NUS – spanning the central administration, the National University Health System, and the University’s faculties and schools, research institutes and centres – as well as 800 traineeships in various fields.
The traineeships are available in four tracks: executive and professional, education, research, and entrepreneurship. Traineeships come with personalised mentorships and development plans and run for up to 12 months.
These traineeship positions are launched in partnership with the SGUnited Traineeships programme and will receive 80 per cent co-funding from Workforce Singapore.
NUS is also launching a specially curated catalogue of 150 Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses and more than 20 certificates of competency, for the graduating cohort. The course catalogue will sharpen graduates’ skills in areas such as data analytics, AI and machine learning, finance and accounting, as well as business and management.
Each student in the graduating cohort will be given up to 26 training days under these offerings, for free.
In another move to help graduating students, those who enrol in any Master’s degree programme at NUS may also defer the payment of course fees for up to three years (interest-free) from the date of enrolment.
Graduating students welcomed the R&G Initiative.
“I have been applying for jobs, but a lot of places are freezing or postponing their hiring, saying they will continue after the COVID-19 situation,” said Feroz Qamar Charles Syariff, a Year 4 NUS Mechanical Engineering student.
Feroz, who has been targeting engineering, business development and government positions, added that he is attracted by the CET courses and traineeships.
“These really appeal to me, and I have to continually pick up new skills. Now, when we look at job opportunities at big companies, they are not just hiring us for our degree. They want us to be equipped with skills like data analytics, cybersecurity and project management. CET will thus be very useful.”
A traineeship in the entrepreneurship track will also allow him to develop business management skills in a real-life setting, he added.
Feroz may also explore the full-time NUS positions on offer under the R&G Initiative.
"I think programmes like the R&G Initiative will greatly benefit many soon-to-be graduates like myself. The labour market we are entering is increasingly uncertain and unprecedentedly bleak, so now more than ever we have to ensure that we equip ourselves with the right skills that will help us stay sharp and relevant."
Fourth year NUS Political Science student Angeline Yap feels that the new initiative is very reassuring for graduating students, especially in uncertain times like this.
Ms Yap prefers to explore her interests and career options after graduation. Hence, a traineeship will be useful as she can garner work experience before stepping into a permanent role, she said.
She is also interested in taking up some CET courses to learn new, in-demand skills such as data analytics.
“I am very grateful that NUS is supporting us by opening up resources and opportunities for us, even after we graduate.”