NTUC will support workers in upskilling & attaining aspirations in post-pandemic world: Ng Chee Meng

He highlights some new ways that NTUC have recently launched to support workers of different segments.

Tan Min-Wei | August 07, 2022, 12:58 AM

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In his National Day message, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng lauded the improved economy and Covid situation but also warned about increased global tensions and worrying economic outlook, as well as the changing needs and hopes of Singapore’s workers.

He said that NTUC had been advocating for workers ever since the Union was founded 60 years ago in challenging times for labour relations.

NTUC will continue to work towards meeting workers' needs and evolving aspirations post-pandemic, he said, but Ng also emphasised the importance of forging trust with workers.

"While NTUC continues to evolve and refresh our compact with workers, this cannot be done in isolation. It will be a trust that we need to forge with every generation of workers."

Ng's National Day message outlined how NTUC updated its support for workers in a post-pandemic working environment.

Training and changing needs

The formation of NTUC’s Company Training Committees (CTC) is meant to help workers train for technological challenges of the future, by aligning their training with the transformation needs of their companies.

Over 1,000 CTCs have been established since the program was launched in 2019.

NTUC is also working with members to create the future post-pandemic work environment. It has set up the Youth Taskforce as well as the Professionals, Managers and Executives (PME) Taskforce. These taskforces are to support the current future workforce by gaining insights into their work-life needs, as well as helping them get better jobs and compete on a level-playing field.

In October last year, the NTUC, along with the Singapore National Employers Federation recommended further developing skills transfer to local PMEs, especially those in occupations with a “strategic interest”.  This led to the establishment of a points based system for Employment Pass qualification that will come into effect from September 2023.

NTUC also advocated for more specialised worker groups; such as better working conditions and medical coverage for self-employed workers, such as delivery personal or platform workers; advocating family-friendly practices such as flexible work for women; and expanding the Progressive Wage Model to cover more lower-wage workers.

The PWM will be expanded to cover over 80 percent of lower-wage workers by March 2023, as well as ensure firms that hired foreigners would have to pay their local workers at least $1,400.

Challenges and resilience

Ng also addressed the rising cost of living, noting it as a growing concern; and that through NTUC FairPrice, the union has been working to keep the price of essential groceries stable and within reach.

On Singapore’s 57th National Day, Ng pledged to upskill Singapore’s workforce, to help them attain aspirations and expectations that have been shaped by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as increasingly diverse demographics.

He also encouraged the participation of NTUC’s members, urging them to “celebrate the fruits of our resilience, preserving spirit and strategic wisdom.

Top image via Ng Chee Meng Facebook