To address the problem of mismatches in the workforce, the labour movement will be setting up a new unit touted as a “strategic nerve centre” to get workers with the right skills and training into jobs available on the three-year horizon.
The new initiative, which will kick off on Jan 1 next year, will embark on pilot projects in areas such as financial services, information and communications technology and media, precision engineering, healthcare, and early childhood and private education, said National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) assistant secretary-general Patrick Tay yesterday.
Mr Tay, who will be leading the unit, noted that there are three types of mismatches when it comes to helping the unemployed find jobs: Mismatch of skills, jobs and expectations.
Hence, this new unit will be geared towards identifying “tomorrow’s jobs” and the skills needed for them.
It will make use of information gathered from the ground to find out “where, when and what are the current and new opportunities available for workers”.
Its network could include government agencies, the Lifelong Learning Institute and self-employed people.
If the Economic Development Board announces new investments to be made in Singapore, the unit could verify the companies that are hiring and perhaps work with the companies in advance to ensure that positions are filled, said Mr Tay.
The issue of supporting Singapore workers to gain skills for the jobs of tomorrow was also raised by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his speech at the dialogue with labour movement leaders yesterday.
The Government has a slew of programmes, such as the TechSkills Accelerator, to train workers in areas where there are jobs and growth prospects.
For displaced workers, various avenues are available for them to find new jobs, such as the Jobs Bank.
The NTUC and Manpower Ministry will make sure workers facing retrenchment are treated fairly.
And there is also financial help for individuals who are making transitions, such as training subsidies and wage offsets, as well as stronger safety nets in healthcare, education and daily expenses.
The Government is also providing more help to professionals, managers, executives and technicians, greater numbers of whom have been affected in recent retrenchments.
news source: todayonline.com