The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS), the leading national trade association promoting corporate sustainability among the business community in Singapore, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 22 April 2017 at the first GCNS Youth Forum.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Guest-of-Honour, Mr Heng Chee How, NTUC Deputy Secretary-General and Ms Goh Swee Chen, President of GCNS. The MOU reaffirms the existing working relationship between NTUC and GCNS, as GCNS joins NTUC’s growing U Associate ecosystem of professional guilds and associations, part of an evolving Labour Movement that helps working people with career progression and skills upgrading so they can take on the jobs of tomorrow.
This complements the Government’s efforts to establish Singapore as a sustainabile city, and showcases the greater role that Trade Associations and Chambers, and Unions play in strengthening growth and innovation capabilities in this sector. This resonates with one of the seven key strategies recommended by the Committee of the Future Economy earlier this year.
In line with the Sustainability Singapore Blueprint 2015, there has been a major drive in Singapore to be more sustainable on several fronts – ranging from smart logistics planning and master-planning, to smart and green buildings, and construction productivity.
The emerging green sector is poised for growth in the years to come and is increasingly being regarded as a sector with job opportunities in areas such as renewable energy. To take on jobs in this sector, it is important that its working people be equipped with the relevant skills.
Hence, the NTUC will collaborate with GCNS to launch two new initiatives, the Sustainability Internship Programme (SIP), and the Sustainability Professional Programme (SPP), to prepare individuals looking to transition into sustainability professionals. Both programmes are scheduled for implementation in the second half of 2017.
The SIP targets youths interested to explore a career in the sustainability sector. The 12-week long internship programme, which includes three days of foundation training, will allow youths and early-career adults to acquire a better understanding of sustainability principles and apply them during the internship.
GCNS will match interested youths with reputable companies to provide them with workplace exposure. Leading local enterprises in corporate sustainability such as Sembcorp Industries Limited and Singapore Telecommunications have pledged their support for SIP to help groom young talent and prepare them for jobs in the emerging green sector.
The Young NTUC and the National Youth Council have also committed their support to pilot the SIP. Institutions of Higher Learning including the PSB Academy, National University of Singapore, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic and Singapore University of Social Sciences have also signed up to be part of this programme.
The SPP will also be rolled out by GCNS, NTUC U Associate and the NTUC e2i (Employment and Employability Institute). This programme comprises 10 days of classroom training, followed by a 4-week mentorship or attachment to a company or consultancy firm. The SPP caters to professionals with minimum two years of working experience, as well as those seeking a career change or those seeking skills upgrading.
GCNS will engage all local corporations interested in embedding sustainability within their organisations or requiring ‘upskilling in sustainability’ for its employees.
“There is a rising demand and need for organisations to look at how to be more inclusive in terms of career development as well as incorporating sustainability into their business models. As an inclusive Labour Movement, we want to adopt different approaches to help our working people and prepare them to be ready for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Mr Vivek Kumar, Assistant Director-General of NTUC, who is also the Director of NTUC U Associate and U PME.