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New Singapore-China Youth Interns Exchange Scheme to Enhance Internship Opportunities for Students

At the 15th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting in Chongqing, China today, Minister for Education, Mr Ong Ye Kung, and People’s Republic of China’s Vice Minister for Human Resources and Social Security, Mr You Jun, signed an agreement to facilitate internship exchanges for students and recent graduates. The agreement covers the equivalent of universities and polytechnics on both sides. The Youth Interns Exchange Scheme (YES), to be launched in 2020, is the first bilateral internship exchange scheme that Singapore has signed with another country. Singapore is also the first Asian country with which China has signed such an agreement.

2. With YES, up to 500 Singaporean full-time students and recent graduates1 from the Autonomous Universities (AUs) and the polytechnics each year will be able to secure an internship visa and apply for internships with China-based companies of their choice, for a period of up to six months. Currently, these tertiary students will not be able to secure such visas for internships. Likewise, the same number of Chinese students and recent graduates2

from similar institutions will be able to participate in internships for the same duration in Singapore.

3. The scheme will allow Singaporean youths to gain experience working in China, and a deeper appreciation of its economy and rich culture, and foster new friendships and ties. Similarly, Chinese youths will be able to gain a better understanding of Singapore and build networks here. The programme will facilitate more people-to-people interactions between our two countries. Besides being a useful learning experience for the participants, by involving a young generation, it will enhance mutual understanding and cooperation for the long term.

4. On the scheme, Mr Ong said: “Being able to work with people from different cultures is now an essential 21st Century Skill. I am confident that our students will leverage YES to gain insight into China, understand its dynamic entrepreneurial system, broaden their horizons, and acquire critical soft skills. Chinese students who experience internships in Singapore will also get to know their counterparts here, and appreciate our strong economic ties with the Southeast Asia region and beyond. It may be only a few months of experience but it can leave a deep impression. In future, if the young participants of YES intend to start their own businesses or invest overseas, I hope they will consider each other’s countries.”

对于该计划,教育部长王乙康先生表示:“在全球化时代,能与来自不同文化背景的人一起工作是个21世纪所需技能。我有信心,学生们会借助《青年实习交流计划》良机,深入了解中国和它动力十足的企业家生态系统,从而扩大视野和提升关键的软技能。我很高兴中国学生也有机会到新加坡实习,更好地了解新加坡和我们跟东南亚的紧密联系。如果这些学生将来打算自己创业或到海外投资,我希望他们会把对方的国家考虑在内。”

5. Business China will administer the scheme, in terms of providing information on internship opportunities and the internship visa application process, as well as matching companies’ demand and applications from interested youth. Business China CEO, Ms Tin Pei Ling shared: “We are pleased to play a key role in this very meaningful bilateral initiative. This scheme supports Singapore companies with global aspirations in building up its talent pipeline and enables Chinese companies to learn more about Singapore and our region. YES’ website will also be a one-stop platform that facilitates the matching of youth talents and enterprises. Most importantly, this initiative will allow youths from each country to better understand each other’s business and social culture, and cultivate lasting ties.” More details on the application process will be released in due course.

通商中国总裁陈佩玲女士说: “青年实习生交换计划别具意义,我们很高兴能为这个重要的双边项目搭桥铺路,实现计划的目的。这计划有助于意欲开拓全球市场的新加坡企业培养人才,增强其人才储备,同时加强中国企业对新加坡及周边区域的认识。通商中国将为青年人才和企业搭建一站式的服务网站,促进人才与企业之间的配对。最重要的是,这项目有助于两国青年更好地了解彼此的商业与社会文化,从而建立更长久的合作关系,共话未来。”


Footnotes
  1. Recent graduates from Singapore should have successfully completed their full-time studies not more than one calendar year prior to the time of application.

  2. Recent graduates from China should have successfully completed their full-time studies not more than one calendar year prior to the time of application, and must have obtained their high school diploma.

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