NTUC kicks off year-long plans to help workers in at-risk jobs prepare for the future

NTUC kicks off year-long plans to help workers in at-risk jobs prepare for the future

Office workers walk to the train station during evening rush hour in Singapore's financial district. (File photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)'s Future Jobs, Skills and Training (FJST) department on Thursday (Jan 11) kicked off a more targeted approach for the coming year to help workers in at-risk jobs prepare for the future economy. 

Speaking at an inaugural forum, Singapore Economic Development Board managing director Chng Kai Fong said Singapore remains a trusted economy for investors with a strong workforce that is easy to do business in and is also located in a rising ASEAN.

That is why the labour movement remains committed to keeping workers able, agile and adaptable, he added. 

NTUC said the FJST department, serving as the labour movement's strategic nerve centre, will target six critical growth sectors - financial services, infocomm and technology, healthcare, manufacturing, engineering and wholesale trade - in the coming year. 

The labour movement highlighted two key solutions to help workers transition into future jobs - encouraging employers to recognise new methods of learning as part of hiring and career progression criteria and leveraging NTUC's extended networks to better tackle sector-specific challenges.

Using a collaborative approach, the FJST will analyse each sector specifically with partners from the different aspects of the labour movement, government agencies, the private sector and Institutes of Higher Learning, it said. 

As part of this effort, the forum convened a panel of speakers from across the government, private sector and the labour movement to address topics on jobs at risk and future skills on Thursday. 

In Mr Chng's keynote address, he identified a central fear of workers deciding whether to invest time and energy into training: "After I train, how do I know I'll get the job?"

He outlined the labour movement's three-pronged philosophy in allaying these fears: Train workers while they are still in jobs, make training flexible and accessible and link training to jobs to enable conversion.

Mr Chng also outlined three trends in the changing nature of jobs in Singapore: A move toward higher value-add jobs, a trend toward adjacent, new industries such as clean and sustainable technologies and Singapore becoming a hub for regional headquarters and digital services.

Source: CNA/mz