ST vs Today: Only 1 tell you Poly full-time jobs 52.8%?

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Only about half of Poly graduates found full-time jobs? 

I refer to the article “Poly grads not getting jobs as quickly: poll” (Straits Times, Jan 13).

It states that “According to the survey, 86.4 per cent of their graduates found permanent, freelance or part-time jobs last year within six months of graduation. This is a drop of 4.2 percentage points from 2016’s figure of 90.6, and the lowest since 2005, when the Joint Polytechnic Graduate Employment Survey was first conducted.

But the polytechnics remain optimistic, saying that the employment rate “remains healthy”. The survey results, released yesterday, also showed that graduates’ median monthly salary rose to $2,200 last year from $2,180 in 2016.”

What a world of difference between the subject Straits Times report and Today’s.

Today said “Among the polytechnic fresh graduates in the labour force last year, close to one-third are in part-time or temporary employment (30.9 per cent), with a handful doing freelance work (2.8 per cent). About five in 10 (52.8 per cent) had full-time permanent jobs.”

I understand that in the past – media reports have always mentioned the full-time permanent employment rate as well as the overall employment rate (including part-time, etc) – but this year – the subject news report may have conveniently omitted to mention this.

If you think that the “all-time low” full-time and permanent employment rate of 52.8 per cent for fresh poly graduates is low – wait till you see the statistics for ITE graduates.

The proportion (%) of ITE Higher Nitec graduates in full-time permanent employment was only 41.8 per cent in 2016.

For Nitec (Engineering) – it was only 33.6 per cent.

As to “The employment rate for post-NS graduates fell from 95.4 per cent in 2016 to 89.8 per cent last year. Their median monthly salary dropped from $2,517 in 2016 to $2,480” – why is it that post-NS poly graduates saw a drop in salary when that of fresh graduates increased by $20, and why is there no mention of their full-time jobs’ rate?

Is it even lower than the 52.8 per cent for fresh graduates?

Leong Sze Hian



About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.