NTUC to support ‘vulnerable’ mature workers amid crisis

Singapore’s labour union is ramping up efforts to help employees survive disruption

NTUC to support ‘vulnerable’ mature workers amid crisis

Singapore’s labour union and employers this week announced a new joint taskforce to support ‘vulnerable’ professionals, managers and executives (PME) amidst an ongoing crisis.

The PME taskforce aims to offer better support for PMEs, especially those aged 40 to 60, and help strengthen their capabilities as the pandemic accelerates economic transformation and digital disruption.

They will share recommendations on best practices for HR and employers, as well as government policies by May Day 2021.

Read more: 'Early' career chats key to managing older workers

Led by NTUC and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), they aim to address the following:

  • Identify areas of support and look at ways to strengthen employment and employability
  • Ensure access to ‘level playing field’ for jobs
  • Help employers balance manpower needs

Over the next six months, the taskforce will engage PMEs and employers across varied segments through a series of polls, focus group discussions and events.

They will gather feedback to determine skills gaps, and work with government agencies to review policies. The taskforce will also conduct research into future trends around jobs and skills.

Read more: Is HR 'failing' to support older workers in Singapore?

In a statement, SNEF President Dr Robert Yap shared three things the taskforce hopes to achieve.

Firstly, in the near term, they want to help employers harness the skills and experience of older PMEs who were retrenched or wish to switch careers in the longer term.

Second, with the proportion of PMEs in the workforce increasing, they want to encourage workers to embrace life-long learning and be adaptable to stay employable.

“With this, they can meet the skills demand of employers and support business transformation and growth,” Dr Yap said.

Third, they aim to strengthen and anchor critical skills in Singapore for business sustainability and competitiveness.

Read more: Mature workers rely on employers for career support

“Local PMEs have been greatly impacted by the recession, and the situation is likely to worsen as the Singapore economy continues to experience the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said  Patrick Tay, assistant secretary-general at NTUC.

“Against this backdrop, we need to ensure our PMEs are adequately protected, have access to good jobs and are equipped with relevant skills, so they can thrive in this ‘new normal’.”

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