Graduating into this uncertain hiring world is definitely a tough pill to swallow. Unlike other cohorts, 2020 and 2021 graduates face industries shuttered because of Covid-19, having their qualifications no longer relevant to the jobs available, and other setbacks.
If this sounds like you, we have a recommendation – a Traineeship or Internship. These are great ways to make the most of your time between job applications, and may even segue into employment on their own.
So, to start off, what is a traineeship or internship?
The SGUnited Traineeships Programme supports recent graduates by offering them traineeship opportunities across various sectors for up to 9 months. Potential trainees can choose jobs ranging from manufacturing, food and beverage, Infocomm technology, logistics, healthcare and retail.
An internship, on the other hand, is a temporary position with an emphasis on on-the-job training rather than merely employment, and it can be paid or unpaid.
A key difference between traineeships is that the former are offered under the SGUnited programme, whereas the latter can be with any interested organisation under their own internal internship guidelines or procedures.
What are the benefits?
There are four key benefits:
1. Traineeships and internships help graduates develop their skills professionally, equipping them with valuable, relevant industry experience and allowing them to gain a firmer foothold in the job market during the economic recovery. Also, depending on their performance and the company’s, they may be offered conversion to full-time employment. You could get a job!
2. They are also great for building up a professional network and personal brand in the industry, as the temporary “job” with the company will provide opportunities to interact with industry leaders and relevant individuals.
3. There is also the matter of pay. While not as much as a salaried position, trainees must be paid a monthly training allowance. Interns are also typically paid such a stipend. Hence, a graduate would still be earning – albeit at reduced rates – while picking up relevant skills and making the right contacts.
4. Traineeships and internships also create a positive impression of the worker to potential employers. They signal that this person is self-determined, committed and ready to put in the hours. To put it simply, a traineeship or internship on the CV looks much better than a blank period or many months in a part-time gig.
However, there are disadvantages as well. Should you intend to take up a traineeship/internship, be aware that:
1. Trainees are technically not employed, and therefore are not entitled to employment benefits. These include CPF contributions, sick leave and annual leave, and a notice period.
However, companies mostly choose to give their traineeships some leave entitlements and a notice period. This is at their own discretion, though, so it may not be in line with industry expectations.
2. Since they are not employees, a trainee or intern must sign a new contract if offered employment. And, again, this is up to the company and employment is not a guarantee.
In summary, a traineeship or internship is a way for fresh graduates to enter their chosen industry and make important contacts, which will make them more desirable for full-time employment.
While it is not a magic solution to all the hiring issues fresh graduates face, it is a practicable option to make the most of things in the current situation. Why not sign up and see?