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Business leaders to look into greater recognition of skills learnt during NS

The Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) Employer and Business (E&B) Council says there are "immense opportunities" for all parties to equip NSmen with the right skills, then match them with companies to plug the SME capabilities gap.

SINGAPORE: An advisory council comprising leaders from different business sectors is looking at ways to better recognise the skills workers use during National Service (NS).

On Monday (Sep 1), the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) Employer and Business (E&B) Council said it would form three working groups to look into the following areas:

  • Identifying the challenges small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face in supporting NS
  • Recognising NS training, skills and personal development
  • Possible areas of collaboration between the business community, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)

In its first meeting since the council was restructured in August, the council said that there is strong support from employers and businesses for NS, but added that there is "greater opportunity for collaboration" between MINDEF and the business community.

Said Mr Thomas Chua, President of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI): "Many SMEs face challenges in resources amid this period of economic restructuring. There exist immense opportunities for the business community to work with MINDEF and the SAF to train NSmen with the right skills, and match them with the companies to plug the SME capabilities gap and manpower needs.”

Council Member Loh Chin Hua, who is also CEO of Keppel Corporation, added: "By increasing recognition of the training, skills and personal developments acquired during NS, we can further develop a pool of talent and leaders with potential to excel in the business community and elsewhere.”

Monday's E&B Council meeting was co-chaired by Second Minister for Defence Chan Chun Sing and Executive Chairman of Asia Resource Corporation Tony Chew.

The ACCORD E&B Council is one of the three councils formed after the restructuring of ACCORD, and serves as a platform for better engagement of the business community on National Service issues, as well as to strengthen collaboration between the community and MINDEF and the SAF.