SINGAPORE: A new initiative under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) will involve youths in spurring digitalisation efforts within the community and social sectors, said Mr Edwin Tong on Friday (Aug 28) in his ministry’s addendum to the President’s address.
“We will set up a ‘digital corps’, comprising trained youths, who will be deployed to assist community and social sector organisations to digitalise,” said Mr Tong, who is Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, noting that up to 1,000 opportunities will be created.
MCCY is also partnering the National Council of Social Services and Tote Board to raise the digital capabilities of the local non-profit organisation sector, particularly charities.
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It is looking to do the same for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the arts, heritage and sports sectors by leveraging the SMEs Go Digital Programme.
“Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, the road ahead will not be an easy one for many of these organisations,” said Mr Tong.
“We will invest in new capabilities that can help them lower costs, improve service delivery, and develop new and exciting products.”
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OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTHS
As part of creating opportunities for youths to thrive in the future, the ministry will partner youth sector organisations to provide youths with training in life skills, such as leadership and financial planning.
It also hopes to equip youths with skills and knowledge to capitalise on opportunities in the region through the Asia-Ready Exposure Programme, said Mr Tong.
The well-being of youths is also on MCCY’s agenda ahead.
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Mr Tong said the ministry will partner youth sector organisations to co-create online resources on mental well-being, so as to enable better access to help.
Peer support among youths in schools and the wider community will also be strengthened via the ministry and its partners.
He added that as part of the Youth Mental Well-being Network, youths who wish to initiate ground-up efforts to promote mental well-being will receive support.
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CONVENE EMERGING STRONGER CONVERSATIONS
The Government will also convene the Emerging Stronger Conversations, said Mr Tong.
These conversations will be “an inclusive platform to discuss important bread-and-butter and key societal issues”, and will allow Singaporeans, including youths, to reflect and reimagine the country’s future together.
Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, the minister noted that Singaporeans have “undergone a shared experience that has changed our lives”.
“We must reflect on and learn from what is happening, and how we can emerge stronger as a society,” he said. “We invite Singaporeans to partner the Government to translate these reflections and ideas into action.”
Beyond that, the ministry is committed to supporting the aspirations of local athletes through initiatives such as the SportSG spexScholarship programme and the new Inspire Fund which supports athletes outside the existing High Performance Sports system.
It is also reviewing the Our SG Arts Plan and Our SG Heritage Plan – two five-year road maps that it rolled out in 2018 to chart new directions for the arts and heritage sectors.
“We are reviewing these at the midpoint, drawing on the experiences, insights, and aspirations of the arts and heritage communities,” said Mr Tong.