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25 Apr 2024  (2774 Views) 
Tan Kin Lian - Perspectives

My experience as an actuarial trainee
I am in favor of an apprenticeship system where a secondary school leaver takes up a job with an employer and receive formal on-the-job training (OJT) and attend part time classes in a trade school to learn the skills required for the industry.

The apprentice spends half the time doing the actual work in the business and is a productive member of the workforce. The actual work helps the apprentice to learn the job better.

I share my personal experience.

I left secondary school to work in an insurance company as an actuarial trainee. I did the clerical work in the actuarial department. I was given time during office hours to study the actuarial subjects.

The employer paid for the books, fees, tuition course, and examination fees charged by the overseas actuarial institute.

I was able to make regular progress in passing the actuarial subjects. On passing each subject, I received a salary adjustment.

My daily work helped me to understand the insurance business better than if I had enrolled in an actuarial program in a university. At that time, there was no actuarial course in the local universities. 

I have spoken to many people who have been employed as an apprentice in an engineering, shipyard or manufacturing industry, and they also found the apprenticeship to be a good way to learn the trade.

There is a difference between an apprentice and an intern. An apprentice work for an employer and is given time to learn on the job or to attend a trade school. The bond is between the apprentice and the employer.

An intern is actually a student studying a course in a university and is sent for short term internship with an employer in the industry. The bond is between the student and the university.

I wish to encourage the adoption of the apprentice system to give the apprentice a better chance of getting a well paying job with the employer, and learning the actual knowledge that are relevant to the job.

Tan Kin Lian

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