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More than 46,000 workers received job placement assistance from NTUC's e2i since start of COVID-19 pandemic

03:20 Min
Singapore's labour movement plans to establish tripartite training academies to help bridge skills gaps for firms and workers, especially those in hard-hit sectors like hospitality and retail. Michelle Teo reports.

SINGAPORE: More than 46,000 workers have received job placement assistance from the National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, NTUC said on Monday (Feb 7).

Between February 2020, when the NTUC Job Security Council was founded, and December 2021, e2i helped these workers “through various efforts such as matching displaced workers into new jobs or helping workers transit to secondary jobs”, the confederation said in a statement following a sharing session outlining its plans for 2022.

“NTUC will continue to pay close attention to safeguard our workforce income security and growth – with better wages from better jobs and relevant skills, our workers will be equipped with an added level of protection when coping with the rising cost of living,” it said.


NTUC launched Company Training Committees in April 2019 to help workers keep up with industry transformation, and to strengthen the work of these committees, it established the Training and Placement ecosystem in 2021.

“The NTUC Training and Placement ecosystem supports companies in business strategy planning, job matching, job redesign, workforce training and leadership development,” it said.

NTUC has also begun looking at business and worker transformation at a sectoral level.

“Beyond Company Training Committees that align workers’ training to company’s transformation efforts, NTUC has been working with our tripartite partners to look at the transformation of businesses and workers at a sectoral level, benefiting workers in the same sector across large and small enterprises,” it said.

“Our ambition is to establish academies in sectors where we see a need for transformation. These academies must be tripartite in nature with different anchor tripartite operators based on experience and resources, with the mutual aim of bridging skill gaps to improve job matching results.”

The tourism sector, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, is among the targeted sectors.

“(The) NTUC Hospitality and Consumer Business Cluster of unions, together with NTUC, NTUC’s e2i and (the) Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have commenced discussions to pilot a career hub for tourism that will provide integrated end-to-end job facilitation, skills training and sectoral transformation by harnessing the collective resources of (the) labour movement, STB and industry associations,” NTUC said.

“Other potential sectors include growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing, retail and security.”


In its statement, NTUC also acknowledged workers’ concerns regarding the rising cost of living, and said that its group of social enterprises has always put measures in place to cushion the impact of rising costs.

Among the measures in place is the extension of NTUC FairPrice discount schemes for seniors and low-income families until the end of 2022. The continuation of these schemes will bring the total amount saved by customers since their launch in 2015 to S$65 million.

NTUC has also pledged S$1.2 million in aid to families under the Singapore Red Cross-FairPrice Meals with Love programme, which provides vulnerable families with grocery vouchers.

“Our social enterprises are committed to continue helping members and workers stretch their hard-earned dollar,” NTUC said.

“This year will be no exception, and FairPrice group will soon announce initiatives to help workers cope with cost of living.”

Source: CNA/kg(ac)


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