NTUC to cushion impact of rising costs & support younger workers with new youth task force

The task force will engage 10,000 young workers who are 25 years old and below.

Zi Shan Kow | April 30, 2022, 11:58 AM

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National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) president Mary Liew and Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng have released a May Day Message ahead of Labour Day on May 1.

The message focused on NTUC's efforts to help manage the cost of living, train workers and strengthen their compact with all workers, including youths.

Managing cost of living

Inflation and the rising cost of living has been a source of growing concern for many Singaporeans.

NTUC social enterprises have put in place several measures to cushion the impact of rising costs, one of them being the extension of NTUC FairPrice discount schemes for seniors and lower income families until the end of 2022.

According to NTUC, these schemes will bring the total amount saved by customers, since their launch in 2015, to S$65 million.

To help workers cope in a sustainable manner, NTUC will also work with industry partners to ensure workers earn good wages with up-to-date skill sets to take on higher-value jobs.

Helping workers via training

This year, NTUC will focus on bridging skills gaps and improving job-matching results for workers affected by the pandemic.

This will be done through establishing tripartite academies in growth sectors, said Liew and Ng.

NTUC has been building its training and transformation capabilities since setting up the Training and Placement ecosystem in 2021.

Through initiatives such as the Operation and Technology Roadmap process, it has helped workers keep pace with industry and company transformation.

NTUC's subscription-based mobile app, LearningHub Learning eXperience Platform (LXP), will also complement these training efforts.

Championing workers from youth

One of NTUC's key priorities for the year is better representing younger workers.

The top three challenges faced by youth workers are career opportunities and prospects, finances and mental well-being, according to a special research study conducted in 2021.

The study surveyed 1,039 youth, who were mostly between 18 years old to 35 years old.

NTUC will be creating a task force for young individuals joining the workforce to learn more about their work-life needs.

The task force will also reach out to 10,000 young workers who are 25 years old and below, reported The Straits Times.

According to TODAY, the task force is expected to be launched in the third quarter of this year.

For lower-wage workers, NTUC will also continue to push for the Progressive Wage Model to be expanded to more sectors and occupations to ensure that their wage growth keeps pace with median wage growth.

NTUC will also champion fair workplace opportunities and strengthen the Employment Pass framework for local professionals, managers and executives (PMEs), particularly those in their 40s to 60s.

Noting that the pandemic has amplified work issues faced by self-employed workers, NTUC will continue to push for better working terms and conditions and boost their medical coverage.

Ng and Liew also touched on the fact that many women had to leave the workforce due to circumstances.

To support workers who wish to stay or return to the workplace, NTUC will continue to engage companies to redesign job roles and adopt family-friendly practices such as flexible work arrangements.

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Top image via Ng Chee Meng/Facebook.