7 Things You Have to Know Before Applying for a Traineeship Programme


Here in Singapore, traineeship programmes have experienced something of a boost thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the labour market so thoroughly disrupted, graduates and university-age students were all finding it difficult to compete, especially given that they need to go up against older, more experienced individuals who had lost their jobs or temporarily switched careers in the unprecedented global crisis.

As a result, alternative paths to employment and upskilling have been thoroughly explored by the government to further boost the employability of fresh graduates. Of the many avenues looked into by Singapore’s policymakers, traineeship programmes have emerged as one of the most advantageous for individuals pursuing certain career paths,

Below are some of the things you should know before applying for a traineeship programme.

1) Traineeships Are Very Different From Internships

Many people are still unaware of the differences between internships, the most common work placement setup in most schools, and traineeships, which are a much more involved arrangement. While they are both work placement opportunities that are generally facilitated through educational institutions as a requisite for achieving a diploma or another certification, the similarities end there.

Traineeships are much longer-term than internships. Where an internship may only take around three months, traineeships can last anywhere from six months to around two years. Most internships are also unpaid, where all students who go through traineeships are paid a regular salary. Traineeships are also more commonly offered by medium-to-large businesses while internships are offered by organisations of all sizes.

If you’re interested in applying for a Singaporean traineeship programme, be sure to first check out resources for traineeship Singapore citizens and residents depend on.

2) Traineeship Is Exclusive

While traineeship sounds like a great way to get into the career of your dreams—and it can be—these opportunities are often limited to individuals who meet specific criteria.

Traineeship programmes in some countries have citizenship or residency requirements for students who wish to participate in traineeship programmes. There may also be other requirements from the school or government, such as having a degree from a recognised educational institution. In Singapore, there is an additional requirement that traineeship applicants should have completed their compulsory National Service in the uniformed services.

However, there may be some exceptions from time to time. To learn if you’re qualified, you will have to contact the school or the government agency involved in the traineeship programme.

3) Course Fees Are Sponsored

Generally, course fees for traineeship programmes are either partially or fully sponsored by participating companies, government agencies, and other involved institutions. This is a major reason why traineeship programmes often see stiff competition between applicants, as these sponsorships can significantly bring down the cost of earning a diploma or certification. It’s also worth considering that participants can save months or years as well, as they can start earning and paying off any student debt ahead of their peers outside of the programme.

4) Trainees Receive Full Salaries and Employee Benefits

As mentioned earlier, participants typically receive a regular salary as well as employee benefits when they enter a traineeship programme. This is in contrast with internship programmes, which are typically unpaid or offer nominal pay without full benefits. This makes traineeships one of the most financially sound options for attaining a degree or professional certificate.

5) Certification Is Equivalent to Those of Regular Courses

Going off the previous point, diplomas and certificates earned through traineeship programmes are equivalent to those earned from a conventional educational path. This makes these programmes even more sought after, as diplomas and similar certifications matter during the early phases of one’s career.

6) A Wide Selection of Careers Are Available



In Singapore, one of the countries with the most comprehensive traineeship programmes, traineeship courses offer entry into a wide gamut of careers and industries. 

Careers in healthcare, hospitality, design and media, beauty and wellness, automation, business, building services, automotive technology, and marine fabrication are currently available through traineeships, with possibly more to follow. 

While not all countries may have such an extensive selection of careers for traineeship programmes, there is still typically a diverse set of options. The old idea that traineeships are exclusively for blue-collar jobs no longer holds true, as traineeship programmes for many white-collar occupations are also available.

7) Traineeship Programmes Combine Coursework and Full-time Employment

One crucial advantage traineeship programmes have over other placement paths is that participants will continue their academic coursework even as they do hands-on work at their job. This mode of learning can help programme participants connect practice and theory, allowing them to see the bigger picture even as they perform the minutiae of entry-level work. For this reason, traineeships are an especially appealing choice for ambitious self-starters who want to make waves in their career.

Find Traineeship Programmes in Singapore

To learn more about available traineeships in Singapore, get in touch with the Ministry of Manpower or Skillsfuture Singapore. You can also contact local educational institutions that facilitate these programmes.

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