Left: Kong Teck Lee, a Bachelor
of Arts (Global Studies) graduate
from the National University of
Singapore, is a Manager in SSG’s
Industry Development Division 1.
Right: Chan Ying Ying holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the Nanyang Technological University and is currently working as a Manager in the Strategic & Resource Planning Division in WSG.
A healthy country possesses a healthy workforce, one which is inclusive and competitive, and most of all, employable.
Since its formation in 2016, WSG is constantly monitoring ongoing economic challenges, to better develop the local workforce and industry to meet these expectations. They promote development, competitiveness, inclusivity and employability at all levels of our Singapore workforce, to guarantee that we remain supported by a strong, united Singaporean identity.
SSG is known for the SkillsFuture movement, a drive to promote lifelong learning through the pursuit of skills mastery, and strengthen the quality of education and training in Singapore.
Together, the SSG-WSG Joint Undergraduate Scholarship aims to develop talent both professionally and personally. This scholarship is one of a kind, as scholars can double their exposure and enjoy twice as many opportunities to learn, grow, and develop in both statutory boards.
Chan Ying Ying and Kong Teck Lee have grabbed this opportunity, and tell us about the broad range of experience they have gained as SSG-WSG Joint Undergraduate Scholars.
Both Ying Ying and Teck Lee felt a strong calling to help their fellow Singaporeans, but were uncertain what exactly would be a good fit. However, during her internship with WSG (then Singapore Workforce Development Agency), Ying Ying was personally inspired by SSG-WSG’s mission to help Singaporean jobseekers meet their career aspirations. “I felt it would be meaningful if I could contribute to the SSG-WSG vision and that drove me to apply for the scholarship,” she recounts.
For Teck Lee, he was drawn to the “One Scholarship, Two Agencies” system which also allows him to fulfil his desire to empower Singaporeans to develop the skills to chase their dreams. “[It] really spoke to me in terms of how the two statutory boards championed lifelong learning in both the personal and professional spaces of Singaporeans,” he clarifies. “This opportunity for exposure to both agencies attracted me to apply for the scholarship.”
The Starting Point
“My starting months felt like a roller-coaster ride!” Ying Ying exclaims, remembering her first few days in WSG. “There were many new terms, acronyms and programme lingo, which were all foreign to me. I had to quickly familiarise myself with them and grasp how the organisation operated.”
And she would have been overwhelmed, had she not been supported by very giving and considerate colleagues, who helped her adjust and assimilate into her new role. She, in turn, was struck by how each and every one of them showed complete sincerity and willingness to help their fellow-Singaporeans.
Teck Lee also highlighted the support system in SSG, which included having a buddy assigned to him to guide him through the steep learning curve. And SSG’s open organisation culture and encouraging colleagues as well as senior officers were evident through the camaraderie and drive among co-workers. Teck Lee recalls how, within the first three months of his career at SSG, there have been town halls, engagement sessions with the Chief Executive and one-on-one chats with senior management and reporting officers.
“In a nutshell, I feel valued in SSG,” he concludes.
One Scholarship, Two Agencies
Both scholars are especially drawn to the “One Scholarship, Two Agencies” system, which offers each scholar the opportunity to explore many different aspects of the work the two agencies do.
And the agencies themselves are always evolving, opening up new paths for talents to pursue. “There are plans for WSG to develop even more digital capabilities over the next few years, which is something I am quite excited about as there will be opportunities for me to develop my data analytics skills,” Ying Ying enthuses. In Teck Lee’s case, beyond his current industry engagement role, the Jobs and Skills Insights that the organisation is developing is a project he looks forward to seeing come to fruition.
The scholarship also helped them during their studies in different ways. Ying Ying’s studies gained purpose – she opted for more statistics modules and workplace-related studies, to gain a deeper understanding of the employment challenges affecting the Singapore workforce.
Teck Lee, on the other hand, took advantage of the sponsorship to obtain on-campus accommodation so he could manage his busy schedule which included canoeing trainings early in the mornings, and lectures and classes later in the day. As he had a job secured before graduation, he was able to constantly reflect and pursue academic endeavours to contribute to his career in SSG.
Ultimately, it is the synergy between the agencies that is the true draw of the SSG-WSG Joint Undergraduate Scholarship. “The range of work in both SSG and WSG covers the complete spectrum from policy planning to policy execution, and presents boundless opportunities for us to develop ourselves professionally and personally in a holistic manner,” Teck Lee concludes.
Opening Up a Wider Future
Both scholars benefitted greatly and retained fond memories of their scholarship, but advised that it is not something for everyone.
“I would recommend that they identify with both organisations’ visions and missions, and have personal interest in developing Singapore’s present and future workforce,” says Ying Ying. She also recommends taking up an internship to get familiar with the work culture to see if there is a fit.
“An open mind and an inquisitive attitude are two attributes I would say are the most important for someone who wishes to take on any scholarship,” is Teck Lee’s advice. “However, beyond learning from the opportunities that the scholarship can present, perhaps it would be more apt to think about what you can contribute as a scholar to SSG and WSG. Like yourself, the organisations are also growing and learning along the way.”