Thursday 23 February 2012

Scholarship to boost strategic sectors

Move to groom talent for sectors such as energy, tourism and engineering
By Lin Zhaowei, The Straits Times, 22 Feb 2012

THE Government has launched a new scholarship to develop future Singaporean leaders in various strategic sectors such as engineering, energy and tourism.

Starting this year, the Singapore-Industry Scholarship (SgIS) will be given to 100 students starting their undergraduate studies at the four local autonomous universities or the Singapore Institute of Technology.

Announcing the scholarship yesterday, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said the initiative underscores the commitment of the Government and top industry leaders to develop Singaporean talent.

He said it is critical for Singapore to develop a talent pool at every level, citing the mobility of companies to invest where conditions suit them.

'We must also develop a core of Singaporean leaders and professionals in every sector, who not only have deep knowledge of their sectors, but also the leadership and business skills to succeed in a more complex and competitive world,' he said during ST Aerospace's groundbreaking ceremony yesterday. It was to mark the company's expansion of its Seletar Aerospace Park facilities.

The $26 million expansion will add infrastructure such as a purpose-built general aviation aircraft hangar and pilot training simulation centre.

A total of 28 Singaporean and global enterprises, including ST Aerospace's parent company ST Engineering, are co- funding the scholarships with the Government. They include international firms such as mining giant BHP Billiton, and technology companies Siemens and Hitachi Asia. Prominent home-grown enterprises have also come on board, such as logistics group YCH, fashion retail group Charles & Keith, the public health clusters such as the National Healthcare Group, and integrated resort operator Resorts World Sentosa.

The scholarship will cover tuition fees and other charges, and give allowances for hostel accommodation and computer purchase. It will also pay for overseas exchange programmes, field trips and summer programmes.

Recipients will enjoy internship opportunities and professional development programmes at sponsor organisations during their studies. They will need to serve a four-year bond upon graduation.

Mr Heng said the number of partner enterprises and scholarship places will increase over time.

Ms Jessica Lee, 18, who graduated from Hwa Chong Institution last year and is awaiting her A-level examination results, is one of those interested. She is particularly keen on opportunities in the tourism and social services sector.

'These fields are perhaps not as well-known as science, medicine or law. I think it is great that internships are part of the programme, as they would allow scholars to understand the industry better,' said Ms Lee.

Online application for the scholarship is open, and will close on April 1.

More details will be available at

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