The YOLO nature of the millennials is a challenge that keeps labour chief Chan Chun Sing going.
Professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) from that generation, according to him, are not just looking for a pay cheque, but are looking for companies who represent causes and look after their aspirations.
"The new generation of workers are much more fleet-footed as compared to the previous generation," he said.
Come to think about it, "fleet-footed" is just a polite way to describe serial job hoppers, who are most likely PMEs because
aircon this group is expanding rapidly beyond its 50% share 0f the current workforce.
He was speaking to the media on the first day (Oct 27) of the National Delegates' Conference (NDC) where he laid out the challenges facing the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).
To compound matters, more PMEs (including the millennials, again) are moving away from the old employer-employee relationship model, which is NTUC's parlance for be one's own boss.
Chan added: "Beyond freelancers, there are also people who increasingly see themselves working on contracts. For example, people from the IT profession, or the arts and music industry. They don't work as an employee, they work as a contract worker on projects."
He forgot one group though: Social media influencers. They are the boss and employee rolled into one and working on contractual terms.
This mounting Gen Y/ First World problem ranks high in his plan for the next four years (or the next NDC) because despite their fleet-footedness and YOLO ways, millennials are still – like it or not – the future of Singapore.
But to be fair to the millennials, the current job market is not helping.
As product cycles become more rapid, frequent job changes are to be expected. To borrow his favourite analogy, gone are the days of durable dial telephones when workers can count on one skill set to survive.
Another set of challenge comes from the proliferation of robotics and technology.
Echoing what PM Lee at NDC's Opening Dinner, Chan said that lower-end jobs may be displaced while on the other spectrum, there's a skills deficit, where there's a lack of people with the requisite skills to design said robotics and technology.
Mix these uncertainties and fluid work environment together and we are happy to report that we are not in Chan's shoes for he has to come up with solutions and coming up with solutions remind us of mathematics, which is incredibly tough.
But before he can solve these issues, he'd need a strong team of tripartite leaders, which – believe it or not – leads to another challenge: Grooming future leaders.
In the earlier conference with unionists, Chan said that the growth in the union leadership is one of the key concerns.
Chan will talk to the media today (Oct. 28) on how NTUC is going to confront these challenges.
Top photo from NTUC Facebook page