During this year’s Budget speech in February, Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that current local and overseas internship programmes will be combined into a single Global Ready Talent Programme (GRT) for students in institutes of higher learning (IHLs).
Said Mr Heng then:
We should position Singapore as ‘Asia 101’ for global MNCs looking to expand into Asia’s growing markets and as ‘Global 101’ for Asian companies ready to go global.
Yesterday (10 Oct), the programme was officially launched by Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.
Speaking to students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics and local universities and about 130 business people at the launch event, Mr Chan said: “We keep urging (enterprises) to innovate their products and processes, and expand their markets.”
“But in order for the enterprises to do that well, talent is a critical enabler.”
During the launch event, he also encouraged young people to build up their skills and international knowledge by gaining overseas exposure.
“Live there […] understand the intricacies of how other societies work and how they are similar or different from us. Once you have done that, the benefits will last a lifetime.”
60 Companies Offering Close To 200 Overseas Positions
The main aim of GRT is to build a pipeline of talent to “support the global aspirations of Singapore companies by exposing young talent to overseas work opportunities”.
60 Singapore companies have come on-board GRT so far, and they come from various industries like lifestyle and consumer, infocomm and media, trade and connectivity, manufacturing and engineering, and urban solutions and infrastructure services.
The GRT programme comprises two components, GRT (Internships) and GRT (Management Associate), with up to 70% funding support provided for allowances or salaries of participants to the companies.
GRT (Internships) enables Singapore enterprises seeking support for business expansion plans to offer local and overseas internship placements to students from ITE, polytechnics and local universities.
On the other hand, GRT (Management Associate) enables Singapore enterprises to train and deepen in-market knowledge of their young Singaporean employees.
The Management Associate programme supports enterprises posting fresh graduates or young employees with up to three years of work experience, to regional markets such as Southeast Asia, China and India. The overseas posting must be for a minimum period of one year.
The 60 companies currently on board are offering 110 overseas internship positions and 86 management associate positions.
A majority of the overseas placements positions are located in Southeast Asia, China, and India.
Enterprise Singapore, which runs the GRT programme, will also be partnering Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) to facilitate internship placements.
They will work with TACs to evaluate and qualify promising Singapore enterprises, and with IHLs to encourage student participation.
Said Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore, which is running the programme: “GRT connects exciting regional opportunities from local enterprises with a pipeline of young talent keen to gain in-market experience.”
“The companies we have with us today are committed to investing in grooming their talent, and we hope to see more of such companies coming on-board this programme.”
The Government aims to have 5,000 overseas placements over the next five years.
- Companies interested in GRT can visit www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/grt, while young talent interested in internship opportunities can visit www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/beglobalready.