Persevering through the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis throughout their apprenticeship, eighteen apprentices completed their journey with the AI Apprenticeship Programme on 19 June 2020 and will begin their new careers as full-fledged AI Engineers this week.
Graduating in the middle of a pandemic had been an interesting experience for the batch. Half of their AIAP programme was done virtually the last 4 months and last Friday, we conducted their final pitch workshop and graduation ceremony virtually as well. They also had to undergo multiple job interviews virtually and we are glad many have landed an AI role even before the programme ended. Close to 80% of the apprentices have found full time roles before their graduation, with the remaining in various stages of the recruitment process with potential employers – this bears testament to the strength, rigour and recognition of the programme.
100E and AIAP Success!
2 of our apprentices have opted to join their 100E project sponsor, Q&M Dental Group, to continue to build out the solution they were developing during their AIAP. This is one of the outcomes we would like to see more of and will be focusing to make more of such “marriages” happen where well-trained Singaporean AI Engineers join their Singapore-based project sponsors to build out their AI capabilities.
Lending support at the graduation ceremony was Mr. Ryan San, CEO of EM2.Ai (part of Q&M Dental Group) who was very appreciative and pleased with the 100E/AIAP partnership.
“With this collaboration with AISG, we now have our first AI product that is viable and can be a foundation for our future development through AI.”
Ryan San, CEO of EM2.Ai
AI Singapore helps Singapore to re-start safely
To support the nation’s fight against COVID-19, one of AI Singapore’s Makerspace Bricks was re-purposed to support social distancing. An AI Engineering team consisting of AI engineers and Batch 4’s apprentices were quick to pivot their attention and resources to address the needs of the global health situation, developing a novel social distancing application, FinePose, to encourage individuals to maintain a safe, physical distance from each other. HP Inc., Singapore is currently deploying the solution to safely restart their factory operations in the region.
Preparing our apprentices for the workforce
In an effort to ensure that our graduating apprentices are well positioned with the necessary career skills to re-enter the workforce, a dedicated Talent and Career Management function was set up to provide job leads, career advisory and career skills workshops. Since its inception in February this year, the apprentices have had the opportunity to attend (i) a webinar on preparing for technical interviews, (ii) a workshop on writing an effective resume and marketing themselves on LinkedIn and (iii) one-on-one career advisory sessions.
Perspectives from our AIAP graduates
In her graduation speech, Michelle Loke shared:
“This COVID crisis was unprecedented and some could say cast a shadow on our apprenticeship as it disrupted our learning and reduced our interactions. However, this pandemic is also accelerating the digital revolution. It is illustrating the importance of embracing technological disruptions, of being resilient and the need to constantly adapt to change. The creative thinking and AI skills that we have learnt on this journey have more than prepared us for this new normal.”
A former R&D Director, Sun Yikang, had this to say:
“AIAP provided me more than a stipend…. All of these combined together created a huge advantage to help me with the transition. It saved me at least 2 years to transit myself into the AI industry. Now I can tell you exactly what I feel about AIAP — I feel very fortunate and really appreciate the programme.”
Click HERE to read the full transcript of their speeches.
Once again, congratulations to Batch 4 for being resilient throughout the 9-month AIAP and bearing with the disruptions brought about by COVID-19. We would like to thank them for being patient as we jointly discover the best ways to deliver AIAP fully online.
We wish our graduates all the best in their journeys ahead.