NTUC Calls on Government and Employers to Review Applicants Based on Skills, Not Just Grades Alone

January 18, 20175:20 pm1159 views

The National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) Singapore calls upon the Government and employers of reputed organisations to assess job applicants based on skills, rather than just grades. It also proposed better protection for freelancers under the labour laws.

This is one among the recommendations by NTUC, ahead of the upcoming budget on February 20, aimed at helping people move into available jobs quickly, and remain competitive amidst the challenging economic times.

With NTUC releasing its 46-page proposal submitted to the Finance Ministry last month, National Trades Union Congress secretary- general Chan Chun Sing wrote on Facebook, “More needs to be done to enhance job-matching efforts and narrow jobs-skills gaps as it is inevitable that jobs will evolve, and some may even become obsolete in the fast-changing economy.”

NTUC assistant secretary-general Patrick Tay told The Straits Times, “It takes time to roll out new academic courses and for workers to get the relevant qualifications. In comparison, skills training programmes and on-the-job training are more readily available.” Hence, he hopes employers would assess workers based on their skills and experiences, not just on grades alone.

The recommendations made by NTUC focuses on four key areas: Enhancing job-matching to minimise unemployment, helping workers acquire relevant skills, improving productivity and protecting workers in non- traditional work arrangements. It further said that the government would pay for the training leave extended to its workers to pursue SkillsFuture courses.

Turning to low-wage workers in the cleaning, security and landscaping sectors, NTUC asked that they be given compulsory annual wage increments and 13th-month payments. For young workers, it proposed accrediting employers who offer apprenticeship schemes, while for older workers, it proposed higher wage subsidies.

The NTUC calls for deeper collaboration between the Government, the employers and the unions to educate human resource practitioners, business owners and foreign investors on tripartism.

NTUC said that it is important for the tripartite movement to evolve and cooperate “to deepen at the sectoral level.” This will help strengthen mutual understanding and trust among future generations of tripartite leaders.

Calling for targeted assistance to working professionals, NTUC is particularly concerned about maintaining working people’s competitiveness in the challenging economy, need for new skills brought about by rapid technological disruption, changing employment structure and an ageing workforce.

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