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Career planning, mental health among youths' concerns over entering workforce

These concerns were shared by about 70 students during a dialogue organised by NTUC, as part of the NTUC Youth Taskforce.

Career planning, mental health among youths' concerns over entering workforce

NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng, Assistant Secretary-General Desmond Choo and student panellists are seen at a dialogue at NTUC Centre on Sep 9, 2022. (Photo: NTUC)

SINGAPORE: Career planning, financial adequacy and mental well-being were the top three main concerns that youths face before they enter the workforce.

This was the result of a poll conducted prior to the closed-door Varsity Voices Dialogue organised by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) on Friday (Sep 9).

The dialogue was attended by NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng, who addressed about 70 students from different Institutes of Higher Learning, as well as secondary schools.

The event is part of the NTUC Youth Taskforce, which was launched in July this year to better understand the work-life aspirations of youths.

The year-long exercise aims to engage 10,000 youths aged between 18 and 25 to find out more about their goals and concerns. It has since reached more than 1,000 individuals and plans to hold sessions with polytechnics in October.

NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng interacting with Abdullah, a student at the Varsity Voices Dialogue. (Photo: NTUC)
Damien, a young working adult, posing a question to the panellists at the dialogue session. (Photo: NTUC)

The From School to Work: Future-Readiness of Singaporean Youths dialogue on Friday focused on how youths can be prepared to transition from being students to working professionals. 

It was held in partnership with Varsity Voices, an inter-university network that holds regular dialogues covering "topics which matter most to youths", said NTUC in a media release on Saturday.

The network includes the NUS Students’ Political Association, NTU Current Affairs Society and SMU Apolitical Society.

"This is amidst the changing economic backdrop, driving forces such as sustainable development, digitalisation, and growing demands for caregiving and flexible work arrangements that are changing the world of work," NTUC added.

Participants shared that they were particularly concerned about ensuring employability in the job market, what skills would be attractive to employers in the near future and how to be better prepared before entering the workforce.

The concerns brought up by students during the dialogue aligned with findings from studies conducted by NTUC and Young NTUC earlier this year, it said. These findings were also used as a basis to form the task force.

A separate study by Young NTUC in February found that young people find job and internship opportunities, skills workshops and career mentoring to be most useful among career-related programmes. The study involved 1,500 respondents aged between 18 and 35.

“Since the launch of the NTUC Youth Taskforce, we have engaged more than 1,000 youths between 18 and 25 years old so far and are looking forward to meeting many more youths out there who will have differing views," said NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Desmond Choo, who chairs the Youth Taskforce.

"It is encouraging to see this meaningful discourse being carried out, and as NTUC wants to be the guiding buddy in their work-life journeys, such partnerships are an important pillar to build our future workforce and create a desired workplace.”

As part of NTUC Youth Taskforce's engagements in September, the Youth Hub roving exhibition will be set up at ITE College Central from Sep 14 to Sep 15. It will then move to the Singapore Institute of Management Global Education from Sep 29 to Sep 30.

The Youth Hub consists of a series of interactive elements to provide youths with useful career advice and tips, said NTUC, adding that these include learning about their employment rights as well as career profiling tests.

Focus group discussions will also be held throughout this month at various locations.

Source: CNA/rc(ga)


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