TL;DR – Key insights from NTUC’s #EWMC had contributed towards several policy shifts outlined in the Forward Singapore Report
The 4G leadership has unveiled the Forward Singapore report for a more vibrant and inclusive Singapore! The report includes both policy moves to assure Singaporeans that their basic needs will be met, and efforts to inspire mindset change. DPM Lawrence Wong said that while the report wraps up the Forward Singapore exercise, the journey to translating its ideas into concrete action and results is just beginning.
Actually, key insights and recommendations arising from NTUC’s #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations (#EWMC) had been considered and contributed towards several policy shifts outlined in the Forward SG Report! Specifically, in the areas of:
- Targeted support for involuntarily unemployed jobseekers
- Training allowances for mature mid-career workers to build deep skills
- Encouraging more employers to introduce workplace support for caregivers.
In August 2022, NTUC set out on an ambitious project – they launched the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations. To date, they have reached out to more than 42,000 workers.
#ICYMI, just last month, through #EWMC, NTUC had released a set of 10 recommendations championing the interests of key worker groups of youth, mid-career workers, caregivers, older workers and vulnerable workers! Aligned with key shifts outlined in the Forward SG Report, the following #EWMC recommendations have been taken into consideration:
Learning Beyond Grades
Forward SG Report recommends support for Singaporeans who already have a publicly-funded diploma or higher qualification to obtain another publicly-funded diploma qualification; and training allowances for mature mid-career Singaporeans so that they can have some financial support when they take time off for training, these are all in line with #EWMC recommendations. These initiatives will go a long way in empowering Singaporeans to acquire multiple deep skillsets over their lifetimes.
Respecting and Rewarding Every Job
The Forward SG Report commits to further reduce wage gaps across professions. NTUC had previously pledged to strengthen the Progressive Wage Model and review the Local Qualifying Salary to uplift lower-wage workers, and also work closely with the Ministry of Manpower to explore the professionalisation of skilled trades through the Career Progression Model. Earlier this year, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng shared that: “What we want to do in this space is to promote a ‘Career Progression Model’ so that tradesmen can have a proper framework of competency ladders to look at, in conjunction with a more structured career pathway.”
The Report also highlights better support for job transitions in the form of providing short-term financial support to the involuntarily unemployed. Since 2014, NTUC has called for the Government to provide short-term financial support to workers who experience involuntary unemployment, conditional on their active engagement in reskilling or job search efforts. Our experience in income relief schemes places us well to administer this support scheme, and our established Training and Placement ecosystem can complement the need for job seekers to acquire new skills and be matched to jobs.
In supporting caregivers, aligned with other recommendations in the Forward SG Report, NTUC aims to build on ongoing initiatives to help more employers implement flexible work arrangements (FWAs). A very much welcomed move for caregiver-workers!
The work has just begun. Like NTUC Secretary General Ng Chee Meng shared, “This journey is about all of us. Our shared efforts hold the key to a better shared future. Let us all unite, with heads, hearts, and hands in harmony, to build better lives and livelihoods for all.”
The full details of the related initiatives are expected to come in the months ahead of Singapore’s annual Budget in February 2024.