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Applications open for Singapore's first youth corps programme

Applications are now open for Singapore's inaugural youth corps programme. Recruitment drives have already started earlier this week at the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.

SINGAPORE: Applications are now open for Singapore's inaugural youth corps programme.

Recruitment drives have already started earlier this week at the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.

And the first cohort is expected to undergo a structured training programming in June this year.

The youth corps programme was first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during last year's National Day Rally.

It is meant to encourage students to continue serving the community beyond their school years.

According to the National Youth Council, applicants have to be aged between 15 and 35 years, and are Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents.

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) added that selected participants will be trained in basic skills such as project management and service learning.

They will also attend a residential camp of up to four days, and an allowance will be given to those who intend to participate full time.

Some volunteer organisations said skills such as managing interpersonal relations, how to lend a listening ear and other psychosocial strategies, should be included in the training as volunteers may be dealing with vulnerable individuals.

Benjamin Williams, secretary-general of Singapore Red Cross, said: “You may think some of these basic skills are common sense, but perhaps you need to train them.

“Many volunteers who joined come from the corporate world, the outside world. So there is much more room to make mistakes and people don't take it too sensitively. But when you are dealing with sensitive groups of people, some of these skills come in very useful."

Earlier last month, MCCY launched a tender seeking vendors to "design and develop the blueprint" for the youth corps programme.

Vendors are also required to assist with recruitment of the youth corps and develop the training syllabus. 

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