On 19th July, we invited Normal Stream educators to participate in a  dialogue about what top hirers of ITE graduates are looking for and how we can build key competencies needed for our students to thrive in the working world.

Here are some event highlights from that day!


Industry experts from Hotel Jen Orchardgateway, LinkedIn and Shell were on the panel for our session. While their sharing focused on the evolving landscape of the working world, questions from the audience also honed in on topics such as what are the skills students need to develop to thrive in the workforce. Some of these skills include adaptability, problem-solving skills and communication skills.



Vanessa anchored her sharing on the need to look beyond present situations and circumstances to call forth the potential in people. At Halogen, we believe that every youth has the innate potential to make a difference and be a positive influence. Vanessa emphasised the importance of giving youth platforms to affect change in their spheres of respective influence. Having positive adult figures come alongside youth is what steered Vanessa to being a mentor in the lives of youth. Just as she has benefitted from leaders who guided her patiently through her difficult circumstances, she highlighted how Educators have tremendous influence over their students.


Recruitment Methods are Evolving

“We need a fundamental shift in the way we teach students to look for a job.”  – Hosea Lai, Head of Social Impact APAC, LinkedIn

Hosea spoke about some trends he observed with people maximising the digital sphere to search for new hires. Having skillsets such as problem solving, communications, resilience and adaptability are increasing in importance in the workplace, compared to the traditional route of having just diplomas and degrees under the belt. An example would be how over 95% of Fortune 500 companies in2018 use LinkedIn Talent Solutions to search for potential hires on LinkedIn, a professional network.

A supportive environment that nurtures self-confidence

Learn to accept failure at an early stage.” – Thaya Nanthini M., Recruiter, Shell Singapore

One main theme that arose in our session was the lack of confidence in young job seekers. Thaya, our panel speaker from Shell Singapore highlighted the effect an environment has on someone. Creating an encouraging and supportive environment can build confidence in students which results in people who are more willing to think out of the box and try new things. “No one likes to fail. But it’s through our failure that we realise and learn from our mistakes. This also builds resilience, giving us the opportunity to bounce back from our setbacks.”

Every setback presents an opportunity to learn and grow. 

“You can master soft skills through getting comments and feedback. This helps you to move to the next level.” – Derick Ooi, Human Resources Manager, Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore

Derick pointed out that in order to thrive in the working world, it’s important for one to continually improve themselves. Whether it’s developing a growth mindset towards situations they face or being a master of a skillset, it’s key to take in feedback and grow. Sharing from his personal experience of starting out as a waiter in the F&B line, he had his fair share of feedback. But taking his supervisor’s comments objectively has helped him to be where he is today.

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship

It’s important to build 21st Century competencies beyond academic achievements among our youth. Skills such as critical thinking, analytical thinking and resilience are key in helping them navigate through future endeavours. The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE, pronounced as ‘nifty’) programme is dedicated to activating the entrepreneurial mindset in students. Key indicators of having an entrepreneurial mindset include showing initiative and self-reliance, flexibility and adaptability as well as being comfortable with taking risks.