ITE and the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (Natas) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last Friday to provide training, bursaries, book prizes and industrial attachment opportunities for ITE students who are pursuing certification in the tourism field.

 This comes at a time when 'there has been an increased demand for skilled manpower in the travel industry,' said Yek Tiew Ming, principal of ITE College West.

ITE students can look forward to the benefits provided by Natas, the body for local travel agencies.

Under the agreement, Natas will source for learning and training opportunities to groom excellent service professionals in the industry.

It will offer bursaries and book prizes to deserving students, and provide opportunities to plan Natas-related activities.

To supplement this, 'Friends of Natas', a core curriculum activity club, will be set up in ITE College West to facilitate interaction between professionals in the industry and students.

Said Robert Khoo, chief executive officer of Natas: 'With this partnership, we hope to attract passionate students and groom them into young professionals ready to step into the industry and bring it forward.'

Dr Yek said: 'This MOU reaffirms ITE's and Natas's mutual vision of building up a professional pool of talent to meet Singapore's tourism industry needs through close cooperation and partnerships.'