SINGAPORE: More than 2,000 Secondary 2 students from 42 secondary schools were introduced to careers in the Chemical and Life Sciences industry at the inaugural Education and Career Guidance (ECG) Fair held at Tampines Secondary School on Monday (Mar 14).
The fair marks the first time a career fair has been organised by the Student Development Curriculum Division of the Ministry of Education in collaboration with industry partners and post-secondary education institutes like polytechnics and ITEs.
The five polytechnics and ITE College East set up booths at the fair representing industries like biomedicine and health sciences, while seven industry partners, including Essilor and the Singapore Chemical Industry Council, talked to students about career opportunities in their sector and real work experiences.
Parliamentary Secretary for Education Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, who attended the event, said there are plans for more fairs exploring other industries.
“Areas that we should look at would be on healthcare, (and) we will be looking at building, at construction, architecture. We find these are the areas that have potential, growth sectors in Singapore,” he said.
Other than the exhibitions and career talks, the fair included workshops, where students could try their hand at food-chemistry, and a live demonstration section, which showed how to make frozen desserts with lower fat and sugar content.
Students said they found the fair informative, and gave them more options to consider for their future.
“I have to be open about my choices because I’m at the age where I have to discover and learn things … This fair has actually helped me a lot because I learnt about the different jobs for the different sectors and industries,” said Jocelyn Kelly, 14, a secondary 2 student from Tampines Secondary School.
For another student, the fair has opened up a possible new career direction.
“Previously I wanted to be a dance instructor but this exhibition has made me be open-minded to other different courses. And the thing I’m interested in is actually environmental and water technology,” said Nur Sabrina Suhaimi, 14, a secondary 2 student from Tampines Secondary.
According to a 2009 MOE study, about 48 per cent of students chose their career without sufficient exploration, relying on suggestions from friends or family rather than research into the industry. Another 17 per cent did some exploration but were still confused, while about 9 per cent were not thinking about their future at all.