Nurturing talent for the health & community care sector
A recent MOU with Nanyang Polytechnic and NTUC Health opens the doors to internship placements and employment opportunities.
Third-year student, Kang Kai Yu, from Nanyang Polytechnic’s Diploma in Social Sciences (Social Work), is currently undergoing her internship in social work with NTUC Health’s Cluster Support (Bukit Merah). As part of her internship, she assists the Care Managers to support the well-being of the seniors when they visit their homes, and learns how to assess and coordinate resources which are necessary to meet the seniors’ needs.
On one occasion, Kai Yu helped to counsel a suicidal elderly woman, and another time, she made arrangements to disinfect an elderly’s home that was infested with bedbugs. Such opportunities have made her appreciate the value of more hands-on experiences in meeting elderly’s needs and reaffirmed her passion for social work.
Her experience is made possible through an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed recently between Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) and NTUC Health to nurture a pool of young talent for the health and community care sector. This will address the growing spectrum of healthcare and eldercare needs as the population ages and is in line with the Government’s 2020 Healthcare Manpower Plan to create 30,000 new healthcare jobs as the industry is transformed.
The MOU will not only open doors for the Polytechnic’s School of Health Sciences students, but also for students from the Schools of Chemical & Life Sciences and Business Management through internship placements and employment opportunities at NTUC Health’s dental clinics, retail pharmacy outlets, nursing homes, day care centres, home care services, cluster support, and senior activity and wellness centres.
NTUC Health will support NYP students through scholarship and sponsorship opportunities, as well as through further collaboration in curriculum development, research development, and industrial development to design systems or products. Staff at NTUC Health will also contribute as industry speakers at NYP’s conferences and workshops. Additionally, NYP will facilitate training and upgrading programmes for NTUC Health’s staff to ensure they remain updated and equipped to do their jobs well. Singapore Institute of Retail Studies (SIRS), a Continuing Education & Training (CET) Institute of NYP, will further expand the potential workforce through education and training opportunities for adult learners to enable them to join the sector.
The comprehensive services that NTUC Health provides to meet the growing needs of families and elderly allow students varied opportunities and experiences to grow their life skills, acquire real-life and hands-on experiences, and build stronger character, which will guide them to appreciate both the challenges and rewards of working in this sector.
Judy Yong, head of HR & Admin, NTUC Health, said: “Our young people will be the health and community care leaders of tomorrow. As such, NTUC Health seeks to be pro-active in nurturing a pool of talent to prepare students from young for the health and community care professional workforce. In this partnership with NYP, we hope that every student we have the opportunity to touch, whether through scholarships, classroom teaching, or internships will find that the health and eldercare sector is indeed a meaningful place to grow their career.”
(** PHOTO: NTUC Health)