3 Benefits of Investing in Trainee and Internship Programmes

Trainee and internship programmes have benefitted many in Singapore, from fresh graduates to even mid-career professionals. Often, these programmes may require a company’s time and resources but it is an investment worth pursuing. We explore why.

In June 2020, the SGUnited Traineeships Programme was launched under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package. The programme, which will create 21,000 opportunities for new and recent graduates, aims to develop their industry skills and professional networks amid the weaker hiring climate during the outbreak. The training is designed to boost their employability upon economic recovery. This is further supported by the SGUnited Mid-Career Traineeships Programme that targets unemployed mid-career Singaporeans. Much like any internship in Singapore, trainees can look forward to working with employees and gaining exposure to job functions pertinent to developing a career in the field.

Despite being an initiative to support career development during Covid-19, the SGUnited Traineeships Programme — whether as a training role or an internship — is one of the ways   in Singapore can enhance their job search. Aside from a possible conversion to a full-time position, the job experience will look great on the resume, indicating to prospective employers a candidate’s diligence in acquiring experience and developing competencies.

What is in it for the employers then?

Channelling time and resources to designing trainee and internship programmes can be a challenge for some companies, be they in Singapore or around the world. Yet, it is worth the investment. From searching and hiring suitable candidates for new roles to retaining and upgrading existing talent, here are some ways a trainee and internship programme can benefit a company.

1. Improve quality of entry-level hires

By training an individual in a specific role or across job functions, the company is already honing the skills of a possible candidate for a future entry-level job opening. Often, training programmes are designed to guide trainees through the role and job expectations, with the possible intention of converting them into full-time employees as long as there is a good fit. In other instances, companies can decide whether interns are suitable for a full-time role at the end of an internship and are willing to train them further — Citi Singapore’s recent initiative to offer summer interns full-time analyst roles is an example.

All these allow companies to improve the quality of entry-level hires. In the event a trainee or intern does not accept the offer, both parties can still keep each other within their network and reconnect at a good time in the future.

2. Build brand recognition among jobseekers

On the note of networking, traineeships and internships serve as a medium for companies to connect with various institutions, such as the polytechnics and universities in Singapore. This can be done by participating in career fairs at these institutions or partnering with them to provide attachment opportunities as part of the course curriculum. Such exposure improves a company’s visibility among job-seekers, enhancing opportunities to bring in not just eager trainees and interns, but also high-quality employees. The programme structure of a traineeship and internship also plays an important role. A programme that offers great hands-on training on industry-level projects, that too under excellent mentorship, will attract keen individuals to leverage the opportunity as a starting point for a chosen career. Naturally, these individuals will be more willing to share their work experiences with prospective candidates in their circle, which translates to better brand awareness and recognition. For any company, having a good brand name is critical to hiring top talents to achieve their business goals.

3. Develop employees as mentors

Designing training programmes and internships also help in employee development. When employees guide trainees and interns through projects, they are essentially playing the role of the mentor. Being able to take on a mentorship role helps employees hone managerial and interpersonal skills. They will learn how to provide constructive feedback, encourage mentees to go beyond their comfort zones and inspire them to take initiatives. Mentors can also review the way they manage people, and “be more aware of diversity and inclusion issues” as described by a Standard Chartered mentor who was part of the company’s mentoring programme. By guiding trainees and interns, the employee hones managerial skills for a potential leadership role where he/she is required to oversee a team. Having the space to be a mentor also makes employees feel valued and determined to work harder.

It is never too late to start exploring training and internship programmes for your company. The SGUnited Traineeships programme is a good way to start. Local companies such as community marketplace Carousell and an end-to-end global supply chain logistics Yang Kee Logistics have already jumped on the bandwagon to seek out talents via the programme. Whether you are looking for a software development specialist, an executive or client engagement officer, you can find talent by sharing opportunities on MyCareersFuture.sg and develop the next generation of professionals in Singapore!

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