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The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday celebrated the 20th anniversary of its formation, with a call from Manpower Minister Josephine Teo for MOM to be the bridge for Singaporeans to a brighter future of work.
According to a media release, in a note to all MOM staff, the minister outlined challenges ahead for the Ministry, as well as opportunities where MOM officers could make a difference to the lives of fellow Singaporeans.
Teo further elaborated on the vision when addressing the 1,200 staff who participated in the anniversary celebration at Bay East Bridge. She said, “The future of work holds many promises – innovative workplaces, more meaningful jobs, better prospects. But there are also uncertainties because of disruptions and restructuring. MOM must be agile and practical in our responses to help businesses transform and workers adapt. We must also have empathy and understand the aspirations of Singaporeans. Let us bring our heads, hearts and hands to bear so that we can all move forward and not fall behind.”
In her speech, she highlighted three key areas the ministry must work on:
#1 Tap on the senior workforce and better prepare workers for retirement
The minister noted that as people are living longer and enjoying better health, “We must further tap our senior workforce to help businesses.”
“We must also enable people to better prepare for retirement,” she added.
#2 Motivate businesses to tap on tech and support workers to adapt to it
With technology driving industry and business restructuring at speeds never seen before, Teo said: “We must motivate businesses take full advantage of it to transform and grow. We must also support workers, whether in regular employment or in the “gig” economy, to adapt and win with technology.”
#3 Promote heathier, safer, more inclusive and progressive workplaces
With Singaporeans having higher aspirations and wanting to contribute more, she added: “We must promote heathier, safer, more inclusive and progressive workplaces. We must also strengthen Human Capital development to improve engagement, realise potential and sustain advancement.”
The minister also paid tribute to past Manpower Ministers and MOM officers as she recounted the many MOM achievements in the last 20 years.
She said: “My predecessors and past MOMers have laid a solid foundation for MOM to thrive and succeed. We will build on this success together with our tripartite partners, to create a brighter future of work, upholding the principles of being pro-business and pro-worker in all that we do.”
The anniversary celebration kicked off with a 5 km mass run and walk in the morning from the Ministry’s Services Centre at Bendemeer and at The Riverwalk respectively to Bay East Bridge; and ended with the sealing of a time capsule containing items representative of MOM’s work.
Some items include:
- The first MOM Annual Report published in 1998
- A safety helmet worn by workplace safety officers during inspections
- A Workfare booklet that explains the national scheme that encourages Singaporeans to continue working and training
The time capsule would be opened in 2028.
Additionally, to affirm its commitment of care towards the larger community, part of the celebration included fund raising for charitable causes through the sale of hand-painted postcards. The postcards were hand-painted by staff with images of past and present MOM buildings.
Photo / 123RF