Business leaders across Singapore have come together for the first time to determine how employees can better leverage on skills and training pick up during their National Service (NS).

The inaugural Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) Employer and Business (E&B) Council meeting saw leaders from different sectors of the business community get together to discuss how Singapore firms can better support the integration of NS servicemen into the local workforce.

The meeting was co-chaired by Second Minister for Defence Chan Chun Sing and executive chairman of Asia Resource Corporation, Tony Chew.

"In recent years, due to manpower shortage, there exists an opportunity for greater collaboration between MINDEF and the business community. E&B Council provides a platform for employers and businesses to discuss topics like SME challenges, the recognition of NS training, skills and personal developments, as well as the collaboration and sharing of best practices between the business community and MINDEF and the SAF," Chew said.  

"NS is an important and integral part of Singapore's defence. We are participating in the E&B Council because we believe that our input and recommendations can improve the support and integration between the business community and National Servicemen."

According to a media release, the council members will form three working groups to look into broad areas - identifying the challenges that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face in supporting NS; recognising NS training, skills and personal development; and the possible areas of collaboration between the business community and MINDEF and the SAF.

"By increasing recognition of the training, skills and personal developments acquired during NS, we can further develop a pool of talent and leaders with potential to excel in the business community and elsewhere," Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel Corporation and one of the council members, said.

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