First cohort graduates from International Trading Professional Conversion Programme

15 Nov 2017
20 PMETs awarded Specialist Diploma in International Trading

Singapore, 15 November 2017 (Wednesday) – Singapore Management University (SMU) today celebrated the graduation of the first cohort of 20 International Trading Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) participants, and also welcomed its newest cohort.  The PCP, which was launched in July 2016, has another 54 participants currently enrolled in its Commodities and Non-Commodities Tracks.

At a ceremony held today at SMU, the 20 graduates from the PCP’s Non-Commodities Track received their Specialist Diploma in International Trading from Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister, Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Manpower.  Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Dr Koh Poh Koon, also addressed the graduates, highlighting the importance of international trade and the array of jobs that it offers, including those requiring digital skillsets as technological advancements impact global trade.

[Photo: SMS Koh Poh Koon addressing the audience at the ceremony.]

Developed by the ITI@SMU in partnership with International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Academy, the International Trading PCP is designed to give participants a first-hand, immersive experience of the international trading environment and to provide an overview of the wholesale trading value chain.  The 20 graduates have been matched to 16 companies across the Food and Beverage, Commodities, Electronic Consumables and FMCG sectors, and have successfully taken on diverse roles, including business development, finance, logistics, supply chain management and trade operations.

Stretched across one year, the three-phased part-time programme is designed to prepare participants adequately for a variety of middle office roles in the trading value chain.  To provide an immersive and enriching experience, classroom training is blended with e-learning components, and enhanced with seminars with industry experts, site visits to companies and project work.  Aside from key and fundamental modules such as ‘Supply Chain’, ‘Risk Management’, ‘Trade Documentation’, the curriculum now includes digitisation-relevant modules, such as ‘Online Marketing and eCommerce Platforms’ and ‘Fintech’, in line with the increasing digital needs of the sector.  This will empower participants to effect business model transformation for the companies they have been matched.


[Photos: (L-R) SMU Vice President for Business Development Prof Annie Koh and SMU President Prof Arnoud De Meyer, congratulating the graduands..]

Professor Arnoud De Meyer, SMU President, said, “In the current dynamic and disruptive landscape, and as Singapore’s economy transforms, I am convinced that all stakeholders have to work together to address the urgent need for our workforce to be continually upskilled and reskilled.  Over the years, SMU has developed an excellent track record built on its practise-based and application-centric curriculum.  As an Institute of Higher Learning, I am pleased that our University has this opportunity to play our part in grooming talent for Singapore’s Wholesale Trade sector, and in preparing PMETs adequately for their new careers.”

Professor Annie Koh, SMU’s Vice President for Business Development and Academic Director of ITI@SMU, said, “We attribute the success of this PCP to the strong support from our both our government and industry partners.  Their vision and confidence in this programme, together with the commitment from the enrolling companies and expertise of the programme lecturers, have provided a rewarding new career and learning journey for the programme participants.”

To date, ITI@SMU has rolled out three intakes of the Non-Commodities Track and one intake for the Commodities Track (Please see Annex 1 for intake details).  The Institute, which also matches PCP participants to companies, has successfully placed all 74 participants in 53 different companies.  All of them are transitioning smoothly into their new roles and companies.  Going forward, ITI@SMU targets to train 100 PMETs each year.

[Photo: (7th to 9th from left) SMU Prof Annie Koh Minister Teo and SMS Koh in a group photo with the graduating (1st) cohort and the newest (4th) cohort from the PCP.]

Mr Satvinder Singh, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, IE Singapore, said “Amid global uncertainties, international trade remains a key driver of Singapore’s economic growth in jobs and business spend.  While digitalisation will change how B2B trade is done, it brings new opportunities for companies to access more trade flows.  IE Singapore will work closely with wholesale trade companies to adopt digital technology to enhance their growth and productivity, and work with partners to establish training such as this PCP to prepare talent for jobs in this sector. 

Mr Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive of WSG, said, “Wholesale trade is a high growth sector with many job opportunities spanning multiple job functions and roles.  WSG will continue to work with our partners to develop conversion programmes to help jobseekers, whether they are midcareer switchers or mature workers, find fulfilling career opportunities in other growth sectors.”  

- End -


  • Annex 1: Fact sheet on objective and intake-statistics of the International Trading PCP
  • Annex 2: Profiles of interviewees
  • Annex 3: Curriculum outline - International Trading PCP (Non-Commodities Track)
  • Annex 4: Curriculum outline - International Trading PCP (Commodities Track)

[Featured photo: Minister Josephine Teo interacting with participants of the International Trading PCP – (L to R) Ms Emily Tan (incoming cohort), Mr Max Wong (graduating cohort), Mr Jumadi bin Yosop (graduating cohort) and Ms Grace Chua (graduating cohort)].


For media enquiries, please contact:

Huang Peiling (Ms)

Senior Assistant Director, Corporate Communications

SMU Office of Corporate Communications and Marketing

6828-0964 / Hp9845-3361 /

Last updated on 20 Nov 2017.

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