NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng says the initiative will help in placing workers from ‘releasing’ to ‘receiving’ companies.

Every job counts. And to do that, Singapore has to enhance job security for workers as it is the umbrella that protects workers in an uncertain economic climate.

This was NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng’s message as he announced the new NTUC Job Security Council in his Budget Debate speech on 26 February
2020 in Parliament.

The NTUC Job Security Council will improve the matching of at risk PMEs and workers into jobs, even before they become displaced. According to Mr Ng, 3 NTUC will create an ecosystem of ‘releasing’ companies and ‘receiving’ companies, where the receiving companies will absorb displaced skilled workers from releasing companies.

“The Job Security Council will work with companies to gather information on their job vacancies, including jobs that will be phased out and jobs that could be redesigned for workers and PMEs. The Job Security Council will then match these PMEs and workers to vacancies within the network, identify the skillsets required and top up workers’ skills through training where necessary,” explained Mr Ng.
The Council can also help companies access Government schemes announced at this year’s Budget, such as the new SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support Package.

The pilot currently has more than 4,000 companies from diverse industries onboard, said Mr Ng. Together, these companies cover 500,000 workers.

“Through the Job Security Council, we want to create a win-win for companies
and workers. We hope to lessen the anxiety for PMEs and workers and assure
them that the Labour Movement is doing what we can to help find good jobs. We
look forward to taking this pilot further, and we call on companies who have not
yet joined us to contact NTUC and come onboard,” he added.

Company Training
Committees Update

Mr Ng’s Budget Debate speech also saw him give an update to the company training committee (CTC) initiative that began in 2019. CTCs see union leaders and management partners work together in a company’s drive towards transformation.
To date, NTUC-affiliated unions and management partners have formed 352 CTCs.

The Labour Movement had last year set a target to form 1,000 CTCs within three
years. “These CTCs enable companies to refresh and deepen workers’ skillsets in line with new technologies, and importantly, tap on Government resources such as the
new SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit to aid with training,” he said.

Mr Ng gave the example Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which manages Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park, among other attractions. The company recently formed a CTC to
train and future-proof its 1,100 workers with the help of training providers such as NTUC Learning Hub.

Covid-19 Situation

The Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) situation has also negatively impacted sectors such as tourism and transport – hotel occupancy rates have dropped to about 35 per cent, taxi and private hire drivers have seen their income drop by 40 per cent, and attractions have seen visitorship drop by 90 per cent.

Mr Ng said that he is heartened that the Budget 2020 has addressed these issues. “So let us be mentally prepared and importantly, ready ourselves, stay strong, and overcome any challenges that come our way … The Labour Movement will continue to work with the Government and employers to improve the social and economic well-being of Singapore and Singaporeans. To this end, we will strengthen and adapt the uniquely Singapore social compact, so that it will stand the test of time,” he said. NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng at a recent  urong Bird Park visit to meet workers.


NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng at a recent Jurong Bird Park visit to meet workers.

Fawwaz Baktee

National Trades Union Congress