SME Talent Programme (STP) – S’pore

The SME Talent Programme (STP) helps local SMEs (small and medium enterprises) attract talent from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Polytechnics and Universities, through structured and meaningful internships.

SPRING will partner appointed Approved-in-Principle (AIP) partners as key managing agents of the programme, assisting participating SMEs across industries to engage the students through local Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs).

(1) SMEs’ Eligibility Criteria

  • At least 30% local shareholding
  • Group annual turnover of not more than S$100 million OR group employment size of not more than 200 workers
  • Offer career opportunities with a clear job description and career progression path
  • Possess sound Human Resource processes
  • Willing to participate in SPRING’s Human Resource Maturity Diagnostics (HRMD)

(2) Students’ Eligibility Criteria

  • A Singaporean or a Singapore Permanent Resident who is a full-time student in an ITE, Polytechnic or University
  • Keen interest to gain hands-on experience/start careers in local SMEs

(1) For SMEs

SMEs can offer internship opportunities to local students from ITE, Polytechnics and Universities by:

  • Providing a structured and meaningful internship experience
  • Offering interns a monthly internship stipend that meets the STP requirements ($1,000 for university students; $800 for Polytechnic and ITE students)

SMEs are eligible for up to 70% funding support covering the internship stipend:

  • Minimum $800 monthly allowance for ITE and Polytechnic students
  • Minimum $1000 monthly allowance for University students

SME Talent Programme (STP) at a Glance. (updated 12 Feb 2018). SPRING Singapore.

Notes/Related post:

SPRING = SPRING (Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board) Singapore. See Jane Wee. (2001). SPRING Singapore. NLB Singapore Infopedia.

The programme began in 2013. [The STP will decrease, and be stopped for sectors/job roles under the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP).] (13 Apr 2015). TODAY.

Earlier post on Republic Polytechnic internship (FAQ).


Cheers快乐工作人杂志 May 2017-Issue 200

Another Taiwanese magazine review… had been reflecting on setbacks and found this. [All Mandarin/Chinese in Traditional Script. China uses the Simplified Script instead.]

Latisha Chan or 詹詠然 (doubles tennis partner of Martina Hingis) quoted 戴晨志 [Hanyu Pinyin – Dai(4) Chen(2) Zhi(4)], a writer:


“放棄,只要一句話; 成功,卻需要一輩子的堅持”. It means – giving up only needs one sentence; but success needs a lifetime of perseverance.


Audrey Tang or 唐鳳 [Hanyu Pinyin – Tang(2) Feng(4)], a government minister in Taiwan (plausibly still the youngest in Taiwanese politics at 35; and the first transgender official) spoke in another interview:


今天做不好,明天做好就是了 – If you did poorly today, just do well tomorrow


She has a different take on failure and success, and enjoys relating/responding to criticism and doubts. There is an interesting divide between the concepts 合作 and 協作 given. I translate the former as ‘cooperation’ and the latter as ‘collaboration’.  合作 probably has a smaller group size with greater expectations; hence more likelihood of failure. 協作, by inference is looser, with a group of people gathering – let’s say an online forum – where people speak openly about their goals, where they need help, and what they had completed so far. Thus, the expectations according to her are limited.

4 tips for Copywriting – ü


texts in advertising/publicity material”

Consolidating my learning from a copywriting course at! Just 4 points!

  • Web copies
    • GRAB your readers’ attention! For internet news headlines, one has about 5-7 words of reader focus. This may make it shorter than the print version (with more tools like photos, graphics or larger fonts etc. to achieve the goal). Gessler from the Chicago Tribune quoted an example which was longer however. The example used the name ‘Chicago’ to hint about the content and enable search optimisation
    • Fit only vital information onto the page view
  • General
    • Write conversationally (surprise, surprise – the trainer cited US investor Warren Buffett as a role model!)
    • Use concise and plain (accessible) English: edit and revise!

Supporting references:

Kurt Gessler. (3 May 2011). Question: Why can’t I search for a newspaper headline and find it online? Chicago Tribune.

(Oct 2014). Why financial copywriting matters now. London. The Clerkenwell Consultancy.

(17 Oct 2008). Writing for your boss? Just begin with “Dear Doris and Bertie”. Good copy, Bad copy blog.

(30 Mar 1999). A Plain English Handbook: How to Create Clear SEC Disclosure Documents. US Securities and Exchange Commission.


Leave – Singapore Employment Act

The below sites from the Singapore Government were sought (on 2 Nov 2017) in producing this post. [Again, bear in mind this is applicable to personnel under the Employment Act.]

( and;



Assuming that you have worked the equivalent of 3 months or more,  you would be legally allocated paid annual leave. For the first year worker, this is 7 days (though it can be pro-rated, if you have yet to complete the first year of service. After the 8th year, you are entitled to 14 days of paid annual leave.)

Loss/Forfeiture/Forgoing of Annual Leave

The entitlement can be forfeited:

  • due to absence from work without permission/reasonable excuse for more than 20% of the working days in the months or year
  • because of failure to consume leave within 12 months after the end of 12 months of continuous service
  • due to dismissal/firing from misconduct

An alternative solution is for your employer to encash the unconsumed leave at the gross rate of pay based on the last drawn salary.

Taking leave

Any leave taken will be considered a full-day of leave, even if it is taken on a half working day. Dependent on employer’s decision, it can nevertheless be counted as a half-day’s leave.

A related post would be Public Holidays – Singapore Employment Act.


Public Holidays – Singapore Employment Act

This site from the Singapore government was visited on 2 Nov 2017. (

Under coverage by the Employment Act, one is entitled to 11 paid public holidays per calendar year. For those working less than 35 hours, one is legislated under the Employment of Part-Time Employees Regulations. Other exclusions from the Employment Act include salaries exceeding $4500 (manager/executive).

if a public holiday falls on a non-working day, you are entitled to another day off or one extra day’s salary in lieu of the public holiday at the gross rate of pay.”

If you work on a public holiday, by default, your employer should pay you. Alternatively, by mutual agreement, you can get a public holiday in lieu; or time off in lieu (applies only to managers and executives).

If you are required to work on a public holiday, you should be paid an extra day’s salary at the basic rate of pay.

  • Your monthly gross salary already includes payment for the holiday, so your employer need only pay you an additional day’s pay.
  • If you are absent without reason on the working day before or after the holiday, you are not entitled to the holiday pay. Your employer can therefore deduct one day’s pay at the gross rate from your monthly gross salary.”

The would be 3 variations as to how and what payment and paid holiday arrangements are executed dependent on whether the work was done on a work/non-work/rest day.


Hiatus (… and some work tips)

This should not be the end of this blog initiative, well unless I die the next moment and/or the internet/WordPress goes kaput (broken/dead)…

I plan to divert more of my limited time resources to my ongoing novel – The Living Wage, also on WordPress. The outcome would be less time on this site. In terms of research, I shall be applying myself to audio resources from Radio New Zealand, CBC/Radio Canada – to give my eyes more rest. They have many free podcasts for download.

Side/related note:

It is best to step away from the computer screen every 45 minutes. Look at the greenery far away, washing your face with water and dry it, ingest water, do a bit of stretching  – 5 minutes at least; and do relieve your bladder and bowels when needed, not doing so for the sake of replying email or finishing your work is in the long run not worthwhile.

In Crabbe’s book (pg 53), creators of this app called DeskTime cited research suggesting maximal efficiency at a 52:17 minute ratios – 52 work then 17 rest. From experience, observation and feedback, human attention span declines from the 45 minute point. For some, especially in this digital/instant era, it may be shorter.


卖命/Selling your life – A Singaporean in Australia

The below are extracts/reflections to an article from 15 August 2012.

His Key Performance Indicators

  • ‘My standard, sleep before 10pm at least 4 days a week.’ [I recall a Chinese/Mandarin Channel 8 programme where this medical professional proposed for the celebrity audience to sleep at 930pm. This was met with laughter…]
  • ‘My standard, you should cook at least 4 days a week.’

He ends with: ‘Life is precious, don’t sell it’; implicitly to generally limit work to 8 hours a day. This involves nevertheless a radical change in priorities, and become like Chinese philosophers Lao Zi (老子) and Zhuang Zi (莊子)?

Side note:

Lu Xun (鲁迅), the famed modern Chinese author, said of Laozi’s main work Daodejing (道德经):  “不读《道德经》一书,不知中国文化,不知人生真谛。” [From SINA blog dated 28 Feb 2016]