The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) is piloting a mentoring programme to better support at-risk youths.
This was announced by Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Eric Chua at the ministry's Committee of Supply (COS) Debate on Mar. 5, 2021.
The pilot will involve students who leave the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) prematurely, and aims to support 100 youths over two years.
It will launch in the fourth quarter of 2021. MSF will be making a call for mentors across industries to participate in this pilot.
Mentors to provide advice
In addition to being a positive role model and sharing their life experiences and skills to nurture the youths, the mentors can also provide informal career advice to mentees.
This includes sharing insights on youths’ specific industries of interest, and facilitating internships and job placements for youths where possible, MSF said.
The ministry explained that the pilot is targeted at youths who leave ITE prematurely as they may lack support and guidance after leaving the education system.
As these youths may have difficulty deciding what to do next, they may get involved in undesirable activities or risky behaviours if not constructively engaged, MSF added.
The new mentoring programme also differs from other initiatives by specifically matching the youths with mentors that come from industries that the youths are interested in.
"We hope that the young mentees will find lifelong friends, and role models in the mentors, pick up useful life skills, and gain access to a trusted adult that they feel comfortable reaching out to," Chua said.
MSF said that they will assess the effectiveness and scalability of the pilot before deciding on the subsequent steps to take.
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