One area involves the set-up of a taskforce focusing on young individuals entering the working world, to engage and gain a deeper insight into their work-life needs.
As part of their joint May Day 2022 message released today (Saturday, 30 April 2022), NTUC President Mary Liew and Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng shared three areas of focus the Union will be focusing on this year, as part of continued efforts to "protect and advance our workers' interest, and uplift all."
One of the key initiatives the Union is planning for, which falls under its focus area: "Championing for ALL workers – wider representation & protection, starting from youth" is the set-up of a taskforce focusing on young individuals entering the working world, to "engage and gain a deeper insight into their work-life needs."
According to surveys and a study carried out recently, NTUC, in partnership with the Singapore University of Technology and Design, the top three challenges faced by youths at the workplace centered on career-related matters, finances, and mental wellbeing — with more than one in two facing challenges in career opportunities and prospects.
Elaborating on the plans for the taskforce, at a media briefing attended by HRO, SG Ng said the taskforce will look at engaging 10,000 youths aged 25 and below to delve into their concerns, and this will be done in collaboration with Young NTUC over a period of 12 to 18 months.
"We will continue to enable our youth to realise their aspirations and address their needs," it was stated in the message.
The leaders also touched on support for other segments of the workforce:
Local professionals, managers, and executives (PMEs)
"The needs of our local PMEs, particularly those in their 40s to 60s, are evolving. NTUC will work with our partners to champion fair workplace opportunities and strengthen the Employment Pass framework. This was one of the follow-up actions from the joint NTUC-SNEF PME Taskforce recommendations that were submitted to the Government."
With the COVID-19 pandemic having "amplified work issues" faced by self-employed workers such as platform workers the Union will continue to push for better working terms and conditions, and boost medical coverage for them, among other areas. "The unique needs and interests of this group of workers warrant special attention and NTUC will continue to champion for them."
Taking into account the importance of wage growth keeping pace with median wage growth for lower-wage workers to keep up with the cost of living, the Union will continue to push for the Progressive Wage Model to be expanded to more sectors and occupations.
The leaders said: "We must also not forget the contributions of our older workers. They have been by the nation’s side and did their part to help it progress. We will not leave them behind as the world changes and industries transform. We will spare no effort in ensuring that they are able to re-skill and take on new jobs in the digital economy; and when they retire, they have the adequate means to do so."
The other two focus areas that President Liew and SG Ng wrote about were: "Strengthening our compact with workers – transformation and training" and "Managing cost of living – NTUC social enterprises ready to assist".
Part of the first, one of the key focuses this year is to establish tripartite academies in growth sectors to bridge skills gaps and improve job-matching results for workers affected by the pandemic. This will be complemented by the NTUC LearningHub Learning eXperience Platform (LXP), a subscription-based mobile app with more than 75,000 courses.
Part of the second, will be efforts to ensure both businesses and workers "transform and thrive together" amid rising costs.
The leaders said: "As we work towards that, NTUC social enterprises will also do their part. They have put in place measures to cushion the impact of rising costs. Among the measures is the extension of NTUC Fairprice discount schemes for seniors and lower-income families until the end of 2022.
"These schemes will bring the total amount saved by customers, since their launch in 2015, to S$65mn. We will also help our workers access quality and affordable cooked food at our social enterprises, with more savings for our members. Our social enterprises will continue helping members and workers to stretch every hard-earned dollar."
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