Speaking at the May Day Rally on Tuesday (May 1), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) secretary-general Chan Chun Sing stated that the labour movement has been successfully raised $200 million fund that will be used to support training schemes for union members.
In 2016, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the Government would provide additional funding support for the NTUC-Education and Training Fund (NETF) up to a cap of $150 million. After two years, the labour movement has gathered $50 million through sponsorships and received $150 million in matching funds from the Government. The fund will be used to create new training modules for union workers.
Mr Chan said that despite the economic situation, the organisation worked hard to inject the fund because they believed in the value of training and preparing workers for the next lap. Therefore, the labour movement is currently improving to better represent workers and to be more relevant. He also pointed out the urgency of training and upgrading workers’ skills to respond with rapid technological change, Straits Times reports.
“In the past many conventional labour movements were focused perhaps on only two or three things – making sure that there are privileges for their members, making sure that there are protections for their members, and perhaps if the member is displaced, to do some placement, to help the member get a new job,” he said.
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“These three Ps – privileges, protections and placements – are important and still must be done. But we need to add to our skillset a fourth P – progression. Helping our workers ahead of time to make sure they stay relevant, because we firmly believe that the best protection, the best welfare for workers, is a good job.”
Mr Chan revealed that the labour movement is now working on a plan with financial cluster unions to strengthen its connection to and representation of professionals, managers and executives in new services such as financial technology, insurance technology and asset management. NTUC is also establishing an ICT Association to support training and development for information and communications technology professionals across various industries in the country.
Furthermore, to represent workers in the logistics and supply chain management sector, the organisation has formed a new Supply Chain Employees’ Union. NTUC’s social enterprises are also going to work more closely together to offer integrated services, Mr Chan added.
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