Dr Fu Qiang Deputy Director, School of Business & Services, ITE, In Conversation With Edx Education

 

Dr Fu Qiang Deputy Director, School of Business & Services, ITE, In Conversation with Edx Education

Episode 31- Heather Welch from Edx Education and today we will be in conversation with Dr. Fu Qiang

Dr. Fu Qiang Deputy Director, School of Business & Services at ITE (based in Singapore) which has a holistic approach to education  Hands-on, Minds-on, Hearts-on™  Dr. Fu Qiang is  A passionate and seasoned leader in education and business, having completed his Doctor of Business administration at university of Canberra he has an inquisitive mind and strong desire to create value through innovation and effective management.

Today we are chatting to Dr. Fu Qiang about, the importance of education, ITE model, Courses offered, Trends in education for Singapore and so much more.

Here are the highlights from the episode:

{3:26} The ethos of ITE
{5:58} How teaching at ITE has been affected in the last 12 months
{10:15} How ITE have used AI and been innovative with students at home
{17:15} The 6 different schools at ITE
{23:11} Lifelong learning
{25:50} How the jobs we see now won’t be available when our children enter the workforce
{34:43} How ITE are supporting those who are  retraining
{36:40} Success stories from ITE
{44:26} How organizations are continuing to combine physical and digital events together to bring us closer together.

Heather Welch (00:01)

You’re listening to education experts with edx education. Education is evolving. Join having Welch for edx education, chatting with teachers, psychologists, parents, authors, creators, and other tons of experts to keep up with the trends and what’s happening from around the globe. This podcast series, mediates education discusses, home learning school readiness, being creatives changes in education, discussing what’s next hands-on learning. Or as we like to say, learning through play

Heather Welch (00:31)

Welcome everyone. I’m Heather Welch from edX education. Today, we’ll be in conversation with Dr. Fu Qiang. He is deputy director at it of school and business services. It’s based in Singapore, which has a holistic approach to education hands-on minds-on hearts on Dr. Food. Charlie’s a passionate and seasoned leader in education and business. Having completed his doctorate business administration at university of Canberra, great Australian university.

He has an inquisitive mind and a strong desire to create value through innovation and effective management. Today, we are chatting to Dr Fu Qiang about the importance of education. The ITE model courses offered trends in education for Singapore, and so much more welcome Dr Fu Qiang. How are you today? It’s great to have you here, as I was just wondering if you could introduce your passion for business and education management.

Dr. Fu Qiang (01:30)

Okay. Innovation is actually is a very important topic, you know, in 21st century for both business and education. So I embarked on this, uh, most, most likely because of, you know, my encounter with, uh, you know, business leaders and also educators. We want to innovate, make sure our education is very much where you align with the industry needs and we are connected with the industry future as well. So we want to make sure our education will provide training for future ready, you know, well skewed employees. So that’s actually what we’re passionate about doing and am passionate about. And this is something, uh, you know, is a big topic. We may spend a bit more time discussed for the late rung and I will share some examples as well. Thank

Heather Welch (02:13)

Now I have to say, no, everyone knows this, but I actually worked in it when I was living in Singapore and really enjoyed it. And I have to say, what are the most important things I’ve found is when you first started in ITE is they did this program and it actually, what do you call it that you do? I think it’s eight modules or nine modules, and they introduce you to the way that it approach when you first drove lecture. What’s it called? The,

Dr. Fu Qiang  (02:37)

Uh, now it’s called a tech program. It’s basically a training program to prepare industry practitioners, to smoothly transition into IQ system, focusing on preparing them in terms of pedagogy, in terms of student management, in terms of constantly skills, in terms of, uh, education assessments, how to set papers out, you know, set the level of questions or help students to learn in the education settings. And more importantly, it also focus on how a hands-on approach is applied in this particular career and technical education setting. Yep.

Heather Welch (03:13)

That’s one of the most important things that we could probably explain to our listeners today is that talking about the it model and the benefits in learning for students, we might understand it’s a hands on approach to learning. Can you explain the ethos of it?

Dr. Fu Qiang  (03:26)

Okay. So ITE is basically a whole sector school education institution providing career technical education for one quarter of secondary school leavers in Singapore. It offers a national ID certificate called my tech high, a national ID certificate high-tech technology promise, is offered with 40 reputable institutions.

Most recently side of the problem is I’ve explained this later on. And it’s actually as philosophy just as you mentioned.  Is called hands-on minds-on hands-on hands-on means or technical education or skill based training. We very much focus on practical skills, indeed it curriculum, you know, which a large proportion of it. We focus on lack based training to make sure students will be adequately prepared in terms of a skills acquisition, as well as understanding what processes make sure that they’re competent and prepared for workforce mine song very much focused on analytical thinking, problem solving and critical thinking skills, you know, for 21st century skills, these are important.

Dr. Fu Qiang (04:31)

And to make sure all of them are we’re prepared to be able to handle the changing, you know, uh, economies situations. And also the skills required in the industry as to heartsong is focusing on values education, and also make sure students will be able to have a global perspective as far as training is concerned.

So with this hands-on minds-on hostile approach, we endeavor to provide a holistic learning environment to make sure students will be well equipped. We are prepared as a career ready life ready and what ready graduates. And we also want to make sure they will be a confident and well-rounded graduates. So this is what we are trying to do here.

Heather Welch (05:13)

I remember doing a lot of work with the community. So with the community clubs, then we also were part of, I think, was it the masters swimming and with all of the students were the volunteers and they all, they always had this hands on experience that, you know, you wouldn’t get a lot of education institution.

It was one of those really lovely experiences as a lecturer and also as a student to go through having that real world real work learning experience. And I think that it definitely do that really well, all those community projects. So that brings me to, you know, how has the last 12 months affected teaching at ITE with all these I know, well, in the UK we’ve had schools closed. We’ve had a whole lot of different experiences. I’d love to hear what happened in Singapore. Oh yeah. I think

Dr. Fu Qiang  (05:58)

We are no exceptions. Indeed. COVID-19, I’ve swept across the whole entire world and the Singapore was no exceptions. And the indeed we started full home based learning started on eight, April 20, 20 as a part of circuit breaker measures the copying implemented. So all schools, you know, from kindergarten all the way to universities have to implement full home-based learning. We call SPL is shocked.

Dr. Fu Qiang  (06:27)

The institutions are not well-prepared. I have to admit that even including it, and indeed teachers are struggling with how to effectively engage, you know, learners from day day-to-day face-to-face learning to day-to-day who do remote based online learning and engagement is a key. And also teachers also need to strive to Cabo curriculum content to make sure the is not compromised.

And students also face the kind of challenges, you know, for instance, some students, they don’t have a dedicated laptops and you know, many school assignment have to use laptop to complete in the past. They SU they used to use, uh, you know, school, computer labs. And now because for home-based learning, they have to do it at home using their smartphone. But, you know, smartphone cannot use for eight hours a day, five days a week. So we have to find laptop for them, you know, and also some of the neediest students, they also look for, you know, food vouchers or financial support to make sure, you know, the ends meet.

Dr. Fu Qiang  (07:29)

So there are different kinds of challenges facing by both staff and students. So it’s not easy. And we see progress of, you know, sucky breaker and also teachers more settled in this kind of, uh, online teaching students that are in the online learning environment. So we learn through the experience and also learn from one another. So we form a to practice and our weekly basis we’ll share with one another. Indeed. Personally, I also doing blogging with my colleagues and sharing some of the academic literature on how to effectively engage learners.

So there’s certain tips and the practices we’ll share, you know, between the teachers, lectures students, you know, we work together to see how best we’re able to make the teaching and learning more effect. If now we’re into the phase three of circuit breaker whereby we work on team and team B and the students and staff will come, you know, come back to school, uh, alternate weeks, you know, to study on campus and that the other week they will be studied from, or from home or study from home. Yep.

Heather Welch(08:37)

Oh, so you haven’t gone back to a full workforce or students back yet?

Dr. Fu Qiang  (08:42)

Uh, not yet. And indeed we are embarking on planet learning moat. Uh, even though right now, the COVID-19 is well under control. Uh, the company is cautious, you know, and, uh, we actually Canada about 75, 80% of staff and student returning to campus on any given day. So we are still working on team and team B approach and alternative weeks, you know, the staff, as soon as you come back. So this also pose some challenges, you know, for, uh, vocational technical training. We we’re much about hands-on skills. So we recognize certain skill sets.

It has to practice in order to be able to be competent, to be able to acquire 40. So because of that, we’re trying to arrange the planet in such a way some of the critical hands-on practice or tests has to be arranged on campus in order to make sure the lectures would be able to facilitate the teacher underneath boyfriends. So we are trying to, you know, work along the way to make sure teaching learning will not be affected as much. Yeah.

Heather Welch (09:48)

That’s one of the amazing things. When you walk into it, college central CC and you walk in and there’s a Boeing, is it a seven 37 and there’s a half a ship as well. And this is all the real life experience that they get. I mean, these are amazing hands on experiences that they can have. Have you found, have you used AI like artificial intelligence or virtual learning for the students? Have you been able to do that where they can do it from home and still have the hands on approach?

Dr. Fu Qiang  (10:15)

Yeah, definitely. You know, innovation is always something, you know, we were much [inaudible] and, uh, we really want to evolve our teaching and learning to make sure how are able to leverage on technology or innovation on teacher validation to help teach and learning to facilitate this. And indeed, before this session at one Creek came in, she actually shared with me that department using AI chat bot to help students, you know, to make sure some of the student services functions will be able to carry out by the AI chat bot.

And also another department from engineering school. They actually came up with a AI chatbot project by the name of Larry who help facilitate engineering students for internship program, whereby many questions students were asked to do with internship in terms of working hours, in terms of, you know, their welfare in terms of, you know, if I have anything, how to report to report to whom MC as also force will be addressed by AI chat bot.

Dr. Fu Qiang  (11:16)

And then he chose will be relieved to focus on more high value, adding kind of walks and services to help students who have, you know, uh, I accompany internship company work more effectively. So I actually, it’s one of the important areas, you know, we see to help us to on one hand to release some kind of repetitive questions, answer sessions to do with student work and as well as student services on the other hand also will help in how, whereas the enhance our services to students from a teaching and Linny perspective or lectures to focus on more high value added activities. Yeah. So do

Heather Welch (11:54)

You see it coming back to a hundred percent at the end of the year, having all, all of the students and all of the staff back, or do you think it’s going to take a little bit longer?

Dr. Fu Qiang  (12:04)

I think at this point in time, looking at a situation lonely in Singapore, I think beyond the shore, we recognize, you know, the COVID situation around the world is still very challenging and, uh, the government have taken many precautious measures, uh, including not letting everybody to come back at at the same time. So we’re trying to also do some buffers and also trying to make sure social distancing measures are put in place.

So, I won’t foresee you’re at any point in time, we are looking at a hundred percent rather we are looking at a blended anymore. You know, it’s, it’s a way to go moving forward. You know, COVID-19 on a Saturday to the teacher, they should, for many industries, I think, including education industry. So we need to relook at how are we able to, to be able to carry out education through a different lenses whereby each foundation will play important part in our teaching and learning. So therefore when the need is a way to go, you know, in view of the COVID situation in Singapore and wander around the world, and also in view of, uh, the acceleration of digitalization, you know, cardio across many industries, including education. Yep.

Heather Welch (13:15)

It was like, you have had this, you put in a hybrid model, which actually is going to work for the future too, not only for the lecturers, but for the students that it, so it’s a very positive thing. I mean, out of all the negatives that have come from COVID, this sounds like a very positive thing in a way it’s super charged the way that you’re delivering the learning at ITA.

Dr. Fu Qiang (13:34)

Yeah. It is. It’s an important learning mode right now.  Mentioned before, you know, we won’t stop waiting.  One of my team actually looking at developing a mixed reality app in terms of a role play, you know  business training or in service training customer service, many times we use role play as, as a way as a means to help students to be able to handle different kinds of situations, work situations. See remote learning or online learning implemented.

Some of these will become difficult to implement and the two to role-playing as a way to assessment and, and this group of, of lecturers because of that. So they came up with the idea to look at how to use mixed reality and app based kind of, uh, technology applications to simulate, you know, certain scenarios in order to help stress do self-check and self assessment, self directed learning in, you know, in service recovery, in conducting customer surveys, dealing with customers and so on and so forth. So this is our new innovations in terms of, uh, how are able to using different kinds of new pedagogy using the innovation skills in a planet. And I

Heather Welch (14:52)

Remember, um, as a lecturer trialing the simulation for the, was it the, when they’re doing the oil rigs and we tried it just to see what it was like, and it was so realistic. I mean, this is seven or eight years ago. This is a long time ago. So it must be absolutely amazing. Now, I think he went to the ends of the engineering, where they had the boats and we had to simulate where they’re simulating the safety on board, an oil rig.

And I remember all of the elephant crashed down cause I obviously didn’t do the right thing. So it was one of those experience, but that was eight years ago. And so honestly it was the first time I had used the simulation techniques for teaching and learning. So, and it was amazing. I think it was quite ahead of their time with that.

Dr. Fu Qiang (15:36)

Yeah. We, we, we have, uh, you know, a games development department, so they actually work with, you know, different, different courses or different programs, you know, to look at applications in different industries. You’re right there’s different kinds of applications. You know, we are looking at to help, to use technology to enable the teacher and the knee, for instance, one of the key power or capability of, uh, using a AR or VR for teacher learning is in terms of, uh, some of these safety practice and protocols.

You know, you remember just, you mentioned about, you know, all rig, some of these, you won’t be able to try it out. And also you have, you cannot have any margin for arrow, you know, in real life during the workplace. So therefore AI come into the picture to help you to simulate the real working environment.

And also the students will be able to practice as real or as close as possible through simulation. And in order for them to familiarize with the SOP is familiarize with the tasks you need undertake to make sure they are able to do it competently and rightfully so then they will be well-prepared when you go to the pace. Yeah. So that is the power of technology.

Heather Welch (16:57)

Absolutely. No, I suppose this is for our listeners. They’re probably thinking, you know, it is, it’s a, it’s a big institution. So how it’s broken down is that these it’s four schools within it. So it’s the school of business. Is it the school of electronics, school of engineering and design and media? Are they the four schools?

Dr. Fu Qiang  (17:15)

Uh, we have, uh, two more schools on top of this. We have also have a school applying a health science. We have school hospitality as well. So design media. So these others, these are the unique schools from three colleges. And it just not, as you mentioned, the common schools, including school business services who have engineering and school electronic technology. So these are the common schools. We’ve seen the three colleges and indeed the seven schools actually I mentioned, uh, covering 97 courses, eight, actually cutting across health in sectors in Singapore. So in other words, he, it skills based training will prepare our graduates to serve almost all industry sectors in Singapore, you name it it’s everywhere and anywhere.

Heather Welch (18:05)

That’s amazing. What are the most popular courses that you have on offer fighty?

Dr. Fu Qiang  (18:10)

As I mentioned, you know, our business courses, you know, is very popular. You know, we, we mentioned about business services, sport management. We have as new services event management very popular. We also have some popular courses, you know, in the engineering sector, you know, aerospace engineering, Marine offshore. Have some kind of, uh, uh, courses nowadays because of, uh, uh, design media calls is also very popular. Especially after the media caused us to become very hot and now everything is ICT enabled. So ITE now become, you know, very hot as well. Yeah.

Heather Welch (18:52)

And also they can do it from home as well. They can work from home for a very long time. It’s not easy actually. So to most of the students ended up going on to poly or to university or do they actually go right out to the workplace?

Dr. Fu Qiang  (19:06)

Oh, okay. So indeed one of the key things, you know, in the, it, it system or fundamental for Singapore education system, we are trying to look at more educational pathways to make sure every young Singaporean we are trying to help them to realize their full potential and to achieve their aspiration. And, uh, there are some big, you know, big picture changes, you know, across HBS sector in Singapore and around the world.

One of the key things we are talking about is very much applied Lenny pathways, indeed in Singapore context, it is students upon graduation. They can go to Polytechnic, as you rightfully shared just now. After poor technique, they may go to university. Recently we launch a work study diploma program, which is an apprenticeship program model after Swiss. There is very much focused on what based situation, what based secret work situation based learning.

Dr. Fu Qiang (20:01)

It is a part of the SKU’s future movement, which was launched in 2015 by the Singapore government is an it’s a national movement focusing on skills mastery as well as lifelong learning. So the work study diploma program is actually is on par with the full-time he pro program is offered by Polytechnic, but it’s a different pathway is very much focused on hands-on learning. So it graduates upon graduating from their respective courses, depending upon their, you know, their GPA. They may be able to apply for 40 full-time diploma.

They may able to also apply for Wachs study diploma program. But for what started, as I mentioned is apprenticeship based whereby they need to apply to a company to be employed for us. And then they, after the company will support them to come to, you know, it was a week or, you know, or one and a half days a week for, for a off the job training and the rest of the time they will be on the job training, you know, the kind of structure it would take two and half to three years. And, uh, upon completion they are Worksighted diploma. Yeah. This is a new development in it side things as of today, it offers 30 is what started diplomas. Yep.

Heather Welch (21:18)

It’s amazing. Cool. Singapore is a global hub like for the airport and just for Asia and for the middle East and all those areas actually you’d be able to get some really big companies that would be able to provide these apprenticeship models. Are you, is it growing?

Dr. Fu Qiang (21:33)

Yes. Yes, definitely. And one of the key things you’re absolutely right, is, uh, what started the promo will have to be support supported by the industry. And in terms of aviation, for instance, we have a work site of diploma in airport. Operations support by sex. Sass is actually used to be a part of, you know, Singapore airlines, you know, prime services, operations. And, uh, indeed it works out at the problem. One of the key features is co-created by it and industry. So we also look at future ready skills. Remember we mentioned about digitalization skews.

We make sure all of this future ready, excuse a wave into the work started diploma. So upon completion of this program, the trainees will not only be able to master the skews. I mean, we were talking about skills depending of today, but also they are prepared for future ready, works, uh, skill sets, you know, for instance like skills, uh, in business with marketing, you name it. So all of these have been waving to the, you know, the program.

As I mentioned before, it is co-created by it and the industry sex industry sectors or big employers. And also it is support by excuse who just think a bowl and a is heavily subsidized by, excuse me, interesting couple is approved by mutual education as well. So you can see this takes a, you know, a whole nations approach to make sure the kind of training will be deep skill base and future ready you’re in terms of their actions. Yeah.

Heather Welch (23:05)

You see, this is sort of part of that ABC format accessible bite and convenient, is that correct?

Dr. Fu Qiang  (23:11)

Yes. So this is actually part of the lifelong learning in that, but just not as I mentioned, SKU’s future movement is actually, it has two main objectives. One is lifelong learning. It’s more of a, you know, ABC format, you know, in terms of, uh, make it by size convenient, accessible. We employees, you know, in order to have them to be, to be able to learn as a win.

The other one is pretty much let’s talk about the used deepening excuse mastery as to, you know, in, in, in, in, in the modern days or, you know, in, in this, in this, uh, fast changing world, you know, there’s always a new skill sets, you know, emerging, and we make sure each and every one of us in green, our youngsters, you know, our graduates will be able to learn and learn relearn. So this is the skills mastery is important. You know, we will learn, we will carry out the learning lifelong. We’ll also be able to keep a particular area in terms of skill sets.

Heather Welch  (24:07)

Are you finding that people are coming to like, is it just for say, for example, young Singaporeans, are you finding that people in the workplace and then they’re coming back to relearn or to go into a different pathway. They find that their career is kind of at the end, in a certain pathway due to technology increasing and all the rest of it so that they come back to it to relearn to start a new career.

Dr. Fu Qiang  (24:31)

In this work started diploma, I think one of the key things is even in the program design area, you know, in that stage. We were trying to look at how are we able to develop a career progression pathway? So we recognize, you know, today’s youngsters. There is many distractions in life and also there’s many things, you know, they want to explore.

So we make sure we will have a long-term career future for them. You know, when we designed this program, let me say upon graduation, they may have an opportunity to be promoted to assistant manager manager or supervisor resort. Number two is also looking at, you know, for such kind of, uh, uh, skews deepening. And, uh, they will be able to, when they complete this program.

I mean a structured training program, they will be able to have a sort of salary agreement recognize, you know, the excuse mastery to recognize excuse deepening is valued by the employer as well. So we are trying to look at, you know, from different perspective to see how best we are able to structure the architect of the program, whereby he career a pathway whereby you know, the, the economy value of their training and their SKU’s mastery will be recognized somewhere somehow along the way as part of, you know, their learning or their study of the diploma.

Heather Welch (25:49)

Innovating so much because I think one of the McKinsey reports mentioned last year that something like 60% of the jobs that we see now, won’t be available by the time my children have grown up, my children are three and 10. So they’re just saying the whole workforce is going to change. And what you’re doing at it is changing and innovating as you need to with real world real work learning, and experience. So this is fantastic that you’ve put in this work study diploma, which actually is working as an apprenticeship. Is that what you’re calling it an apprenticeship,

Speaker 3: (26:21)

I guess yes. It’s apprenticeship based, you know, Worksighted program. Yep.

Heather Welch (26:25)

And it’s not just traditional apprenticeship, like, uh, say for example, like a carpenter or something like that, it’s actually for business.

Dr. Fu Qiang (26:33)

Yeah. In the modern days, apprenticeship is very complicated. As I mentioned before, you know, some of the things that, you know, we talk about each of those skews, so you just imagined apprenticeship, you know, in terms of digital skills is a more complicated process, you know, and also undertaking as far as employer employee as well.

Supervisors is many institutions concerned. It takes a whole village to raise a kid. And this takes all parties to come together with design develop, deliver, and, uh, you know, this kind of program in order to achieve the skills mastery. Uh, one of the excuse master is, is more sophisticated than just like a cup under walk. Yeah.

Heather Welch (27:13)

Fantastic. Singapore is known for its education system having a very good education system. And I know that, um, it, when did CCE open, it opened in 2012, did open in 2013. Fantastic. So what are the current trends in education by students now coming through from 2013, when this, you had this amazing facility opened? I mean, I was one of the first, I was one of the lecturers there actually, when you were first opening, I think.

Dr. Fu Qiang  (27:41)

Yes. Yes, absolutely. Yeah. So some of the key things actually I mentioned, I mentioned briefly just now, you know, and the we’re looking at, uh, you know, how are you able to, to develop and widen the applied learning pathways indeed for Worksighted diploma. We’re trying to see how best we’re able to facilitate these students to move to the local universities, more applied learning universities, like a Singapore student of technology sit Singapore, university of social, social science.

So they are more focused on applied learning and students who are able to do well in the more hands-on mode or applied mode in terms of learning. They may be able to progress to even for them, you know, in terms of university learning or education. And Jessa is also, I mentioned so because of the change of working environment, so many teacher learning will shift from classroom based to a more work-based learning.

Dr. Fu Qiang  (28:37)

So then is the linear teacher. Lenny will focus on addressing some of these problems in a work situations, you know, so we start with a, you know, a problem statement and then we’ll look at what are the skills underpinning such kind of to help to scale for student, they need to resolve such kind of, you know, problems or issues or challenges. In teaching and learning, we offer, we offer in housing kinship and work study programs.

In order to help students the better, you know, master the skews, we also in hindsight have a internship program, which is industry attachment program in the past. It’s maybe a quest shop, sometimes three months, sometimes short term, you should. Nowadays we will all move towards at least six months of internship. So we call enhanced internship to emphasize on, and also providing ample opportunities for work based learning.

Dr. Fu Qiang  (29:30)

So we recognized some of the teaching lending will pass, take place, you know, in the workplace or in a company setting. So in hindsight, the ship is also an important for them as far as it each and Lenny’s concern. And just as I mentioned, lifelong learning also play an important part. The ABC model also play an important part. You know, we try and offer some of these are lifelong learning programs for graduates and the alumni as well to make sure they will be well equipped.

We, the changing landscape of industry and the, the past training, we focused on technical skills. And then nowadays the focus very much on interdisciplinary skill sets whereby we recognize in what place problem solving skills are complicated. Also need to have the team in walking skills. You also need to look at.  Some of these are problem solving skills, soft skills will play an also more important part in solving some complicated problem with workplace.

Dr. Fu Qiang (30:33)

So therefore students should be able to demonstrate capability in both technical skills, as well as soft skills. And also some of the skill sets are across different disciplines. So that’s also important. So we need to look at different kinds of excuses in Singapore, context, excuse, future, or we define this as we call it generic skills and competencies and the skills future framework they call we call G S C. And, uh, these will be underpinning skills and competencies, you know, in the artist to address some of these challenges facing workplace. So I think these are some of the important movement we are looking at to make sure students will keep abreast of changes up there in the industry.

Heather Welch (31:19)

My keeping the trends, I mean, with programs like this, Singapore will have, you know, in theory, Singapore will have a very low unemployment figure. Why not? Like, you know, say for in the UK, it’s probably quite high at the moment due to COVID and a whole lot of businesses closing. And there’s been a few problems this year due to what it is, but actually the programs that are innovating like this and allowing students to learn and come back and learn and have that work-life balance that they will have quite, they in theory would have quite a low unemployment in. Yeah,

Dr. Fu Qiang  (31:49)

Yeah. Yeah. So, so I think the, the, uh, this, this, this, this actually, there’s a quite a number of, uh, initiatives, the government have undertaken to address the unemployment rates, uh, because of COVID actually many pieces have been affected, you know,

Heather Welch (32:04)

In Singapore.

Dr. Fu Qiang (32:06)

Yes, yes. Even in Singapore. I, I, so I, I, so one of the key things that government has undertaken is actually introduced different kind of budget packages to help, you know, address some of these challenges. I just give you a few, you could give a few examples, places, the carbon of, uh, uh, you know, the awful financial assistance for train and place program whereby the mid career switches or people have been unseated because of COVID-19

From their past employment will be offer a monthly allowance and for at least half a year for them to take on a full time training and place program for them to acquire a kind of a career ready skills training program and the two of them for another, you know, career, another industry. So this is one number two is for the graduates for the fresh graduates. We recognize the job market is not as, uh, as kind of probably seen as used to be due to COVID-19.

Dr. Fu Qiang  (33:08)

So the carpet also offer, uh, COVID-19 trainingship program. This is applicable to both public and private sector is called SG United Singapore United traineeship program. Let me say, as a nation, we United one people, we work with one another to help these young graduates. So this traineeship program will last forth from six months to one years, depending upon the nature of the job.

So companies who sign up for this, they will get the bulk of the costing of this undertaken by the Coffman. And, uh, he graduates will become a short-term trainee for nine months or six miles, or you have a one year work in a company where they are employed by the company. They also can learn on the job, you know, focus on excuse development in the workplace.

Heather Welch (34:35)

It’s very positive actually. And so it you’d be getting a lot of people retraining. Would you coming through the ranks at the moment?

Dr. Fu Qiang  (34:43)

Absolutely. Actually both it and, and, uh, all the techniques we have been undertaking quite a number of, you know, uh, tram place programs to help, you know, the people become employed during COVID I think will help them to prepare for the next lap of employment, make a transition. For instance, our retail online business department actually offered the three phase program for be an online retailer is a very, very popular program, you know, and these first intake.

I think we have 20 over, uh, you know, uh, people sign up the second intake. So every, we have a cultural intake. So every quarter we have a new intake, the second intake last year, I remember in the desk over three times, small, you know, people sign up it’s about 80 over, you know, people sign up for this program.

Through this program, you will be able to become entrepreneurial in, you know, run, uh, you know, online e-commerce or retail businesses on my own. So these are some of the initiatives, actually, we as ITE, we trying to, you know, offer our core business as a kind of, uh, uh, services to support the Singaporeans in this challenging time. Yeah. To make sure it will be put back to the workforce. So yeah,

Heather Welch (36:03)

E-commerce is one of the largest growing industries. I mean, I know in the UK, in the USA and places like that, that’s where edx education, educational toys have really grown in the last 12 months. Absolutely. I mean, I would love, I know from my own cohort, so Bebo back in, when we did community sports, that a lot of my students went to poly. Some of them gone to the police, the army, the Navy, one of them opened the restaurant. I know that there’s another one, that’s a flight attendant supervisor. They were very, there were a lot of success stories. And I’d love to read some of, some of your success stories over the years.

Dr. Fu Qiang  (36:40)

Yeah, I’m sure. Right. Actually, there’s many successful stories, you know, of it graduates whereby they’re able to, you know, find employment. They are able to progress to the highest tuitions. And maybe you just give a one example is, you know, in the, in the areas where are more familiar with, you know, uh, in sports-related area recently.

One graduates by the name of Nadira and she has interned with anytime fitness, uh, during her enhanced internship program in night tech in finished training process, she walks through, you know, the, the, the, during the period of time and, uh, apply the even kind of skill sets, you know, walks in real life situations. She has been able to offer, you know, valuable programs to the customers in, uh, in, in, in, uh, uh, anytime finished [inaudible], uh, for example, she came up with a weighted best high intensity interval training sessions, which was very popular among the clients.

Dr. Fu Qiang (37:39)

So they employ, you recognized a potential quality and, uh, roping her to do some, teach the marketing program as well. So she has to be able to perform very well demonstrating what ethics and capability, you know, in different areas. And she was, she has, has made a most impressed, you know, on the employer.

So upon graduating from paws and, uh, the, the, the anytime finished offer her a full time employment opportunity. And in the meantime, the company also support her for applying for work, starting diploma in lifestyle and recreation management. And indeed she is currently as a full-time employee in what kind of time fitness.

In the meantime, she will come back to ITE once a week off the job training under the walk Saturday diploma, your lifestyle and recreation management. So she’s very happy with the walk. Now she’s a assistant manager in the anytime fitness, a finished chain in Singapore. So this she’s just one of the many successful stories, you know, among our graduates.

But I think from her story, you can see he walks out at the promo. You know, it’s not a new successful pathway created for students, you know, who are more inclined to, you know, focus on applied learning and applied pathway will be able to progress for the, in their career as well in their education. Yeah,

Heather Welch (39:12)

Absolutely. Now the other one is that we had, when we, when I was doing the course, when we first started and we’re getting to know all the different lecturers that were there, there were some amazing lectures. So lectures that had studied and worked all around the world. So they’ll see a Korean and they’d worked say, for example, I remember there was one that worked in Michelin star restaurants, and now he was going to do the food, and there was a food food, and a lack of not look cook was kind of a chef apprenticeship.

Then there was another one that’s doing the whole, it was a hotelier all around the world as well. He’d been in Taiwan, all sorts of places. So, I mean, you had a very high standard of lectures there as well with a lot of experience within the field, not just within teaching.  That was a wonderful experience for myself to meet them. Also for the students to have people that have had that real life experience in each sector, which also came to that was the projects that the, it students were able to undertake. I remember, as I was mentioning before that we did a swimming, one was a Phoenix, Phoenix swimming.

Heather Welch (40:16)

And then the other one was, there was a big one with CMIS and it was, um, uh, is, uh, clubs management, the clubs management as well,

Dr. Fu Qiang  (40:24)

Site managers, association in Singapore. Yeah.

Heather Welch (40:26)

Yeah. So what are the, what are the current ones that you’ve been able to do during COVID?

Dr. Fu Qiang (40:31)

Okay. I think some of the things, you know, as I mentioned before, some of the social and the sporting event, and some of these, uh, social activities have been affected badly because of COVID-19 and we need to maintain social distancing. So in terms of a physical event activities, there’s a lot of restrictions and limitations. And indeed we are trying to pivot towards a hybrid mode of event. And also we’re trying to introduce a virtual events, you know, for students to learn kind of skill sets.

We have, uh, recently we have worked with different partners, you know, for instance, uh, we have a global site in which is a event tech company. Uh, we walk them to teach our students how to use a platform to do hybrid event, to do live streaming of, you know, certain event. And also we are trying to work with, you know, different partners to try and to introduce new training education programs during COVID-19, it’s more for remote in nature.

Speaker 3: (41:32)

We trying to introduce, uh, you know, uh, Michael, any, you know, mobile, any programs to help companies to train and prepare workforce, uh, when in downtime they may not have sufficient physical, physical contact hours to train these people. So we can use, uh, you know, uh, uh, micro learning, mobile learning kind of program to do self-direct learning to prepare workforce, you know, to, to be ready for, for, for them to be deployed, you know, to the floor, to self customers and so forth.

So many things, actually, we do our remote base in nature, and we still hit post contact with industry, even though COVID-19 has affected many industries very badly, for instance, sport industry, you know, clapping industry, uh, event, industry, tourism, hospitality, industry, all of these have been affected very badly. And, uh, we see, uh, measures, you know, uh, kind of slow, slowly loosening up, uh, some of these nutrients.

Dr. Fu Qiang  (42:29)

So we get back to it’s, you know, normality, but we use the social distancing measures put in place. We have to make adjustment pivotal towards a more hybrid boat of events, social activities. And also with the limitation of number of people around, we will send less number of students, you know, putting the tree, for instance, recently there’s some kind of international events going on, uh, Congress going on, we were saying a smaller number compared to, you know, in the past and also cost of yeah.

And also because of a limitation of a, you know, pointless arrival in Singapore, some of the international conferences, which are very big scale in the past now in the physical arrival, in terms of the conference, attendees are very limited, but, uh, the online streaming part will help enhance, you know, the connectivity and also the outreach international audience. So our students also will be able to help to do live streaming events, you know, and connect with international audience.

Dr. Fu Qiang  (43:29)

Indeed last year, last year, during the COVID-19 period, I think in November, December, and that’s, uh, our students actually, what was also in development board in some of their shopping malls. So we did kind of a live streaming in terms of, uh, more promotion events. It’s a virtual event. Some elements are prerecorded. Some elements actually are life, but literally there’s no physical event due to the restrictions of COVID-19 and the students through this process, they will learn hands-on you, you know, live streaming event, broadcasting skills, indeed.

These are invaluable in a moving forward because hybrid events will be the way to go. And also many of the time, you know, the kind of planet learning hybrid mode will actually have to use technology to make sure whatever we need to deliver, you know, kind of customer experience. We will be able to deliver both physically as well online. Yeah,

Heather Welch (44:26)

That’s fantastic. I read the other day, there’s a new word word now for physical and digital is called

Physigital or something or physical or something. So they’ve been binding the two words together to now be it’s going to be the new normal for everyone, but I suppose it brings the world closer. It brings us closer and closer. You know, we’re more connected than ever, which is always a wonderful thing now. Absolutely does.

Thank you so much for your time today. Now, if anyone wants to have it, if they have any questions on it, or even for lecturers looking at maybe learning more about the processes that you put in place, what’s the best way to get in touch with you or with the college, would it be directly to yourself or to look it up online with the website? Is it.edu.sg, and then they could get in touch via how would the best way to get in touch

Dr. Fu Qiang (45:17)

If audience have any kind of issues of metal rising can get in touch with me, can, you can go to it. Website is customer service, uh, online there, you can probably email it to me. So my email is a F-you at a skull Q I N g@id.edu, SG, uh, feel free to drop me, show me one liner or two liners, and we want happy to address any queries or questions and to help to, to, to, to do whatever is possible. Yeah.

Heather Welch (45:44)

And thank you so much. I think it has a magical way of hands on minds on hearts. I think it’s a great way for bringing students, you know, be able to have been lifelong learners and to be able to get their best out of them. So thank you so much for talking to us today and we look forward to seeing how your, all the new courses go and how it grows and develops and the more success stories from ITE.

Dr. Fu Qiang (46:08)

Yes. Thank you. Yeah, thank you for having me, you know, I think it was a very happy session with you and, uh, we were trying to innovate more in terms of education innovation, as well as, you know, supporting the industry to see how best we are able to make sure whatever we do, we will be able to value it to student learning to the stakeholders. You know, the Singaporean to Singapore economy, a large to support kind of, uh, skills development.

So that’s all a mandate. It is a journey and the journey is ongoing and there’s a lot of challenges ahead. So we make sure we are able to keep abreast of the changes up there. We’re able to make sure we all become lifelong and now we are make sure we, you know, we, we will be able to learn and learn and relearn. I think this is a process whereby all of us need to embrace.

Dr. Fu Qiang  (47:00)

And the, with the COVID-19 each foundation is an important kind of a topic in the education sector. We also trying to do our best to see how fast we’re able to teach the lies in terms of learning and in terms of how are able to infuse the translation into a planet, the new mode, which will be every out, you know, knowing now, but also looking forward.

And we also look at how are we able to use new digital skews to help industry, to innovate, to transform, because this is also important to us at the end of the day, they are the employers all graduates to help them is also to help our students, perhaps Singapore economy. Thank you very much at that. It’s a nice meeting you today.

Heather Welch (47:45)

Thank you for your time. There are so many exciting developments happening right now in education. edx education would love to hear from you. So do get in touch with subscribe to our podcast, which is available on Apple beans, Spotify tune-in. And so many more. This podcast series is brought to you by Heather Welch edx education. The she’d like to say that’s create lifelong learners.