Second edition of the Todo Todo Skills Marketplace is designed to focus on startups to attract young job hunters, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at Sengkang’s Rivervale Plaza on Saturday (Nov 11).
First launched in Tampines on April 30 2017 by partnership between National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and People’s Association (PA), the skills marketplace is a new career support initiative that helps fresh graduates, young professionals, managers and executives. On its first launching, there are about 30 young mentors volunteered at the skills marketplace to guide their peers in Tampines. Until now, Todo Todo has reached about 2,000 young people.
Speaking at the skills marketplace event, Mr Teo said that globalisation, free trade, and technology should not be something to be afraid of. But instead, they offer many new opportunities for Singaporean firms, existing workers, and young people to go out and seize them.
“Young people can join start-ups or start some themselves and contribute to the Singapore economy,” he added.
The second edition of skills marketplace will initiate career programmes to Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, with focus on startups. In this programme, about 50 mentors will guide young people over a four-month period, while local startups can also contribute by offering their experience and expertise. Among those participating in the initiative is SGAG, a social media website founded in Singapore in 2012 by Mr Karl Mak and Mr Adrian Ang, Straits Times reports.
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In an official statement to the media, NTUC said that local startups in Singapore provide an exciting space for youths who are interested in joining flexible and dynamic work environment. Startup operations are usually manpower-lean to keep costs low, a condition where employees can get deep into the action and juggle many roles. It also added that startups could be a good springboard for youths looking to jumpstarting their career, since they will gain valuable experience.
The labour movement’s director of youth development Desmond Choo, who was at the event, acknowledged the challenges that young people might have to face when joining a startups, but he said that it was worth the risk to try it out. He said that startups will be the next big engine of growth Singapore. It is not only about helping workers, but also helping entrepreneurs so they can provide new jobs for new workers, he added.
Addressing the young audience at the event, Mr Teo said that many of the things that they are studying right now and the jobs they are undertaking did not exist 10 to 15 years ago. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that young people understand what the new opportunities and challenges are, as well the exciting things that they can gain with these new careers.
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