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Evaluation of The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP)

Evaluation of The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP)

The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP) was introduced in 2015 to give fresh graduates from the polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) a head start in their careers by placing them in a work-study programme. During the ELP, individuals work full-time for their employers and receive on-the-job training, while pursuing part-time courses. Individuals also receive competitive starting salaries throughout the programme.

This objective of this study is to examine the wage returns to polytechnic graduates who enrolled in the ELP leading to an Advanced or Specialist Diploma (recently rebranded as SkillsFuture Work-Study Post-Diplomas), as compared to their peers who transited directly into employment after graduating from the polytechnics, as well as those who pursued a full-time degree from a Private Education Institution (PEI).

Our findings suggest that ELP graduates received a higher starting wage compared to polytechnic graduates who transited directly to employment after graduation. Over time, the wage premium that ELP graduates enjoyed over their polytechnic counterparts narrowed and stabilised at around 10 per cent, 19 months after graduating from the ELP, suggesting that employers valued the human capital accumulated during the ELP. This ELP wage premium was also similar to the wage premium that PEI degree graduates had over the polytechnic graduates, even though the average time taken to complete the ELP was around half the time taken to obtain a PEI degree.

The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), Ministry of Education (MOE), SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), or the Government of Singapore

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