ITE graduates in full-time jobs: 42% or … ?

Photo:John Walker/CC BY 2.0Photo:John Walker/CC BY 2.0

How many ITE graduates can’t get full-time permanent jobs?

I refer to the article “Fewer ITE, poly grads in full-time work due to changing employment trends: MOE” (Channel NewsAsia, Feb 6).

It states that “The number of polytechnic and ITE graduates in full-time permanent employment fell from 77 per cent in 2007 to 58 per cent in 2016, a decline of 19 percentage points.

In contrast, the number of graduates who choose to go into freelance, part-time and temporary work has gone up, he said. Elaborating on the figures, Dr Janil said: “About half of the decrease is due to students choosing to do part-time work while they prepare for further studies”.

He cited MOE figures showing that the number of ITE and polytechnic graduates choosing to further their studies has gone up by 10 percentage points “over the last 10 years”.

The other half of the decrease is due to graduates choosing not to engage in full-time permanent work.

“They could be doing freelance work, or have other reasons to lead them to choose to work part-time or take up temporary employment,” Dr Puthucheary said.

He said about 1 percentage point represents an increase in those who are doing part-time work involuntarily or still looking for a job.

Still, he said employment rate has remained high. Apart from fluctuations due to the performance of the economy and job market, Dr Janil said around nine in 10 graduates found jobs.”

Since the proportion (%) of ITE Higher Nitec graduates in full-time permanent employment was only 41.8 per cent in 2016 and for Nitec (Engineering) – it was only 33.6 per cent – how do we reconcile these apparently conflicting statistics?

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.