TL;DR – Understand the Generation Covid and work with them to fulfil their potential to the fullest.
Each generation faces its own pressure and challenges, and for Generation Covid, a loose moniker covering people from late childhood to early adulthood who are coming of age during the health crisis, it has undoubtedly got to be the frustration and the sense of loss over the past two years, thanks but no thanks to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
In a survey conducted by TODAY which polled 1,066 respondents between the ages of 18 and 35, respondents said that the pandemic has caused them to become more insecure about their future in general.
This finding, unsurprisingly, corroborates with another study commissioned by Young NTUC which revealed that two out of three youths are anxious about the employment landscape, finding it challenging to navigate.
Speaking in his Budget debate speech in Parliament, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) assistant secretary-general Desmond Choo calls on the Government to address the anxieties and worries of the youths and ensure that these young workers are well-prepared to face the uncertainties of the global economy.
In his speech, the Labour MP raised concerns that some younger Singaporeans have picked up skills that eroded even before they graduate, while others are graduating into depressed sectors such as tourism-related industries.
As such, he suggested increasing subsidies for targeted SkillsFuture courses related to growth economies.
The Labour MP also suggested creating a one-stop career guidance centre for younger workers with career counselling, mentorship, internship, and employment opportunities.
Mental health issue is one Generation COVID feels strongly for
While most of us were able to successfully make the shift to working from home since the pandemic, however, the blurred lines between work and home have increased employee stress and diminished overall wellbeing.
Understanding the importance of having a purposeful balance between work and mental wellness, Desmond therefore also calls for greater awareness about mental health issues to help reduce stigma. He said,
“I believe we can spark more conversations on mental health on the national level, thereby normalising mental health issues across the nation and within workplaces. Key stakeholders, such as employers, must remain sensitive and understanding towards persons struggling with mental health issues.”
The labour MP also added that the labour movement will continue to work closely with the tripartite partners to champion mental health within the workplace.
Concluding his speech, the labour MP who has been championing for younger workers said: “We must ensure that Generation COVID is well-prepared to face the uncertainties of the global economy and even the next pandemic. In NTUC, we will champion the aspirations and needs of our younger Singaporeans. We will chart this journey alongside Generation COVID, working with them to emerge even stronger from the pandemic.”
You may watch his Budget 2022 debate speech here.