Is Education and Career Guidance (ECG) already being offered?
Yes, ECG is currently offered at primary and secondary schools, junior colleges/Centralised Institute (JC/CI) and at ITE, polytechnics and universities. Career and training advisory services are also available to working adults.
At the primary and secondary schools, structured ECG curriculum and lessons plans have been implemented for Primary 3-6 since 2012, and for Secondary 1 to 4/5A students since 2014. These are conducted by teachers. Students also use the MySkillsFuture portal (for Primary school students, for Secondary school students, for Pre-University students) to discover their own strengths and interests, and engage in education planning and career exploration.
ECG at the polytechnics and ITE is primarily delivered by academic staff and personal mentors in class, through mass briefing sessions or course-related practices as part of curriculum. Career, recruitment and further education fairs are organised for students by the academic schools and Student Service offices. Smaller group mentoring and coaching sessions may be provided by counsellors, mentors and academic staff who double up as career coaches on a case-by-case basis.
The Autonomous Universities also have dedicated career services offices or centres, which offer career advisory and preparation programmes to assist students in identifying their strengths and in exploring careers related to their strengths, interests and fields of study.
Workforce Singapore (WSG) provides career and training advisory services at the WSG Career Centres located island-wide. Besides WSG Career Centres, individuals can also visit CaliberLink and WSG’s partners such as e2i and the Continuing Education and Training (CET) Centres for career advisory services and training assistance. Details on the location of the touchpoints are as below:
Locations of WSG Career Centres, CaliberLink and e2i
Central Singapore Career Centre
Address: 490 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh
#07-11 HDB Hub Bizthree
(Please use Lift Lobby 1)
Contact Details: 6883 5885 (Please call to request for an appointment to be made.)
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri: 9am to 5pm
Sunday & Public Holiday: Closed
Address: Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability
80 Jurong East St 21
Contact Details: 6474 0606
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri: 9am to 6pm
Sunday & Public Holiday: Closed
How will education and career guidance be further strengthened for students?
We will build on existing good practices through establishing closer coordination and planning between schools and post-secondary educational institutions (PSEIs). This is to ensure that students receive and relevant ECG as they transit from one level to the next. At the national level, we are also working towards an integrated ECG approach that will serve Singaporeans throughout their life stages, not just during the school years.
MOE will deploy ECG counsellors to secondary schools, junior colleges/Centralised Institute, the polytechnics and the ITE. With the increased support, students can benefit from consulting specially trained and dedicated staff. These counsellors can work with academic and administrative staff to plan and organise activities for students to explore and decide on their career paths.
Central ECG Unit
A central ECG Unit is being set up within MOE to oversee planning and implementation of ECG, working closely with the polytechnics and the ITE to ensure alignment and continuity across different educational levels. The pool of counsellors will come under the management of this unit. This centralisation will enable counsellors to draw from within the fraternity a greater diversity of professional and practical knowledge, experiences and perspectives to serve our students better.
A common ECG Curriculum for Polytechnic and ITE students
As previous ECG efforts varied across the institutions, a set of common ECG outcomes and learning objectives (which are part of the curriculum) has been developed jointly by MOE, the polytechnics and the ITE for all students across all education levels, to achieve better consistency and quality of ECG across the system. ECG at the polytechnics and ITE will build on the skills and knowledge learnt at secondary school, and help students i) develop a positive and realistic perception of themselves for achieving personal and career goals, ii) adapt and make considered decisions about their careers and aspirations, and iii) be better prepared for the transition from school to work.
The curriculum will be conducted over a minimum duration of 40-60 hours across two years for ITE students and three years for polytechnic students. It will be rolled out in 2015, starting with Year 1 students in January at the ITE and April at the polytechnics. Learning objectives will be structured into existing academic modules and dedicated lessons on career-related topics, The ECG curriculum will also be conducted through out-of-classroom activities such as industry immersion programmes, talks and workshops. Students will also have access to individual and group career counselling and guidance sessions if needed.
Career services at the Autonomous Universities (AUs)
The AUs are also enhancing their existing career services to focus more on helping students better identify their career interests, and be equipped with greater occupational and industry knowledge. This will be done through closer links with industry professionals, and access to personalised career advising services through in-house career counsellors and advisors. For example, the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) existing Career Centre was repositioned as the Centre for Future-ready Graduates in October 2014. The Centre will enhance its suite of career preparation programmes for students, including new leadership development courses. It will also provide more personalised career advising to students from Year 1. The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) also launched the Margaret Lien Centre for Professional Success in 2014 to provide holistic career skills training to all NTU students. It will be recruiting up to 13 consultants across various industries to coach students on career planning and expand networking opportunities in 2015.
Whilst it is a good step to enhance ECG support and provisions to individuals, many students have expressed frustration that their personal choice of a course option in the polytechnic or ITE is by and large dictated by the cut-off points. Will this problem continue when the new ECG measures are in place?
The last aggregate score for each course is determined by the academic scores of the students who are entering into the programmes. The polytechnics also have discretion to admit a number of students based on other demonstrated aptitudes and interests.
The objective of better ECG is not to help one better secure a place in a highly competitive course. Instead, ECG seeks to help our students understand their strengths, interests and aspirations better, so that they will make better-informed educational and career choices. This can translate into their understanding of their suitability for and interest in various other course options, rather than just congregating towards more popular courses or relying on incomplete information in making education and career choices. This can help put students in a better position to choose courses that will help them maximise their potential, based on their strengths, interests and opportunities.
What efforts are taken to help the adult workforce in training advisory and career services?
WSG works closely with various partners (e.g. industry associations, unions, training providers) and stakeholders to promote lifelong learning and skills development, offering various channels where individuals can access training and career information:
Individuals and employers can use SSG’s course directory to search for SSG-supported courses by training areas and job levels. For CET courses offered by the publicly – funded PSEIs and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), individuals may refer to the course listing at myskillsfuture.gov.sg.
In 2014, WDA set up two continuing education and training campuses as focal points to inspire lifelong learning by building strong and close knitted lifelong learning communities, and showcasing diverse high quality learning opportunities. Our local workforce will be able to access a range of services and training to help them improve their skills and careers, upgrade their jobs, and get the most up-to-date information about the job opportunities.
As part of ongoing efforts to strengthen support for Professionals, Managers, and Executives (PMEs), the tripartite partners – MOM, WSG, NTUC and SNEF – have jointly developed a one-stop career resource portal (www.CareerResource.sg), which was launched on 14 Nov 2014.
The portal aims to raise PMEs’ awareness of the various programmes and services available by providing them with convenient access to a range of resources and information from CaliberLink, e2i, U PME Centre and WSG.
The Jobs Bank was launched in July 2014 to make job vacancies more visible to Singaporean job seekers and facilitate a fair hiring process. The Jobs Bank facilitates the online job application and hiring process between local job seekers and employers. It allows employers to advertise jobs and search within a database of job seekers and allows job seekers to create a resume and apply for a job at no cost.
Those who prefer to receive face-to-face career advisory services and training assistance can approach WSG’s Career Centres located conveniently island-wide. Besides WSG Career Centres, workers and individuals can also visit CaliberLink and WSG’s partners such as e2i and the CET Centres for career advisory services and training assistance. WSG will continue to explore ways to improve and deepen its outreach to individuals at the touch points, which will include the provision of labour market information to assist individuals in making better-informed career and training choices.
How many ECG Counsellors have been recruited so far? What are the requirements for those interested to apply as ECG Counsellors?
MOE has started recruiting ECG counsellors, and expects to deploy them to schools, polytechnics and ITE from mid-2015. At steady state, there will be close to 100 ECG counsellors. We are working towards 6 counsellors per polytechnic and ITE college, and one counsellor per five secondary schools, JCs and CI. Once deployed to schools and institutions, students will be able to make individual or group appointments to discuss their education and career choices with these counsellors.
The efforts of MOE’s ECG counsellors to provide support to youths at the earlier life stages will complement existing career and training advisory services currently provided by WSG’s career coaches at the WSG Career Centres. Together, the pool of ECG counsellors and Career Coaches will ensure that there is a seamless provision of education and career advisory and guidance for individuals across all stages of life.
The details, including the requirements for those interested to apply to become ECG counsellors, are available at MOE’s website here.
Where will the ECG Practitioners be sited?
The ECG Counsellors for MOE schools will be centrally sited within the Ministry of Education (MOE) headquarters. The ECG counsellors for polytechnics and ITE will be based at these institutions. Career Coaches based in the WSG Career Centres, CaliberLink and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) will provide career and training advisory to individuals in the workforce.
How will the ECG Practitioners be trained?
The ECG Counsellors at schools, polytechnics and ITE will undergo training to be equipped with skills and competencies necessary for education and career counselling or career development facilitation. They will also be trained in basic counselling skills. To raise career advisory and guidance capabilities across all touch-points, and ensure a baseline level of competency across the board, ECG practitioners for both students and the workforce will undergo structured and accredited training programmes. SSG and MOE will also be working together to develop a common competency blueprint. There are also plans to organise regular professional network sharing sessions for ECG practitioners to share experiences, knowledge and skills within their agencies and at the national level.