Ngee Ann Polytechnic, NP, is launching a $2 million package of programmes designed to give its batch of graduating students an edge in an increasingly challenging climate.

Its Principal, Chia Mia Chiang, says the “NP Advantage” package is being rolled out to meet the needs of fresh graduates.

"It's really about giving our fresh graduates an added advantage. Our concern is that given the downturn, those looking for a job may find themselves not being able to land a job. So that is the group we are targeting under the NP Advantage. If you are not able to land a good job say in 3 or 4 months, then perhaps the package under the NP Advantage might be able to suit your needs and help you prepare for a career down the road. "

NP is introducing 16 new Specialist Diplomas, complete with internship opportunities, to cater for 320 fresh graduates.

Most of the Specialist Diploma courses will start in August.

The course duration ranges from six to nine months.

Singaporeans and Permanent Residents can qualify for funding for these courses under government schemes such as Skills Programme For Upgrading & Resilience or SPUR and Workforce Skills Qualification.

There will also be 50 newly-created project and research assistant jobs at the Polytechnic for fresh graduates.

Besides this, NP is also pushing out an interest-free study loan scheme for fresh graduates facing financial difficulties.

Mr Chia on the scheme.

"We're making half a million dollars available from our own funds so that we can give out interest-free study loans to up to 100 students, at $5,000 per student per year. So essentially, we're reaching out to 100 fresh graduates."

Mr Chia says a further loan of up to $5,000 may be granted for the second year of study.

The "NP Advantage" package is over and above the polytechnic's on-going effort to help graduates secure employment by collaborating with key partners to conduct recruitment road shows, career talks and job matching.

Some 2,300 students will graduate from the polytechnic this year.

The number excludes those who’ll be enlisting for National Service.