Singapore is expanding its SkillsFuture scheme to help design students get trained on-the-job.

The Workforce Development Agency has partnered with Nanyang Polytechnic, launching two schemes on Spatial Design and Visual Communication for polytechnic graduates.

Graduates are matched with companies where they are trained for a year. They are first recruited as junior designers, and could progress on to become designers, working on interior and spatial design, branding or advertising. Participants will get a diploma on completing the year of training with their employer.

25 companies have signed up for the scheme, specialising in retail, design, events and marketing, among others. Employers have already recruited 34 participants through the programme, the WDA said.

The programme will build up a pipeline of young designers with skills equipped for the industry, said Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Education, The Straits Times reported. “We need to create a variety of pathways to deepen the skillsets of our design workforce and build up relevant work competencies in order to meet the demands and challenges of the future economy,” said Low.

The two schemes are launched under the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme, which provides polytechnic and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduates opportunities to build skills for a head-start in their careers.