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This year’s highest May Day award has been conferred on Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Coordinating Minister for Economic & Social Polices Tharman Shanmugaratnam. He was joined by other unionists, employers and individuals to receive the awards at a ceremony held on 13 May 2017 at the Orchid Country Club, NTUC reports.
Present at the event were NTUC President Mary Liew, Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing, NTUC Central Committee members and tripartite partners. NTUC applauds DPM Tharman’s efforts to being a firm advocate of lifelong learning and committed to building an inclusive society.
Congratulating Tharman on the recent honour conferred, NTUC said, “He has always taken a keen interest in ensuring that workers benefit from economic transformation and has worked hard to advance tripartism in the key councils he chaired. These include the SkillsFuture Council, National Productivity Council and subsequently, the Council for Skills, Innovation and Productivity.
“DPM Tharman is an unassuming and approachable leader among unionists, one who makes a genuine effort to engage with, understand and address unionists’ and workers’ aspirations and concerns,” added NTUC.
Having led the led the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute (OTCi) as its Chairman of Board of Governors, he is a man of vision who has expanded OTCi beyond its focus on industrial relations to what is now regarded as a thought leader among various stakeholders of the Labour Movement.
Addressing the event, NTUC President Mary Liew noted that in previous years, the May Day awards were presented during the May Day Dinner. Beginning this year 2017, the awards event has taken on a refreshed format to showcase the inclusiveness of the growing Labour Movement network.
“This new format is to symbolise our Labour Movement’s commitment to continue to be representative of our working people and be relevant to their diverse and changing needs. While we will never forget our roots and continue to serve our working people through our affiliated unions and associations, our Labour Movement has been hard at work growing our network to be more representative in tandem with our changing workforce demographics,” explained Ms Liew.
A total of 145 awards were presented this year. Also, in a recent interview with NTUC post conferred with the honour, DPM Tharman explained that lifelong learning is the big new opportunity, which will enable Singaporeans to deal with two critical things in the future.
Firstly, to pick up a new tool kit of skills when an industry is disrupted and jobs are lost, secondly for jobs that still exist, workers need to keep deepening their skills so that they can stay relevant and get satisfaction on the job. DPM Tharman hopes to develop every Singaporean so that they can create the best future for themselves and for Singapore.
Feature image credit: spwu.org.sg