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At the inaugural Future Jobs, Skills, and Training (FJST) Forum held today, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has kicked off its year-long targeted approach to help workers in at-risk jobs prepare for the future economy.
Attended by Human Resources, the Forum marks the start of the intervention by the FJST department in identifying at-risk job holders, upskilling them, and placing them in in-demand jobs.
Particular focus will be placed on six critical growth sectors:
- Financial services
- Infocomm and technology
- Wholesale trade
The approach will see the FJST working with the rest of the Labour Movement to identify jobs, sectors and industries affected by disruption, based on FJST’s framework [more details on the framework below] for future-skilling.
Patrick Tay, NTUC assistant secretary-general, and FJST director, noted the FJST forum is an example of coordinated collaborative action between stakeholders, with a view to translating that into tangible action plans to benefit workers.
He added: “It is such collaborations that will create and sustain change – whether in the mindset of workers who are ‘cushioned’ in their existing roles, management who are looking to take their businesses to the next stage, or industries that are looking to transform.”
As part of its mandate, FJST will also review and update reports on pilot sectors, with a value add of identifying crucial skills not already identified by the Industry Transformation Maps.
The forum will also continue to deepen its sector-specific analysis efforts through partnerships with different limbs in the Labour Movement, government agencies, private sector, and institutes of higher learning.
Details on FJST framework: Collaborative action to change mindsets towards future-skilling
- Address information asymmetry
- Raise level of awareness
- Inspire action
- Provide holistic support
- Create a positive feedback loop
- Develop change-agent mentality
Also at the event was Chng Kai Fong, MD of Singapore EDB, who noted three trends towards which the jobs industry is moving: the need for jobs, and not just industries, to move up the value chain; new jobs in adjacent industries; and hub and digital services jobs, given the number of central HQ function in Singapore.
In a media interaction with Human Resources, Patrick Tay, NTUC assistant secretary-general, and FJST director, noted that communicating to workers that their jobs may be at risk isn’t an easy task, but advocates for open and transparent communication.
He said: “Work with the labour union and the workers, and have constant communication and feedback . With open communication and sharing, trust is created. With this trust, we can help rally the ground with workers to remind them to stay ready, relevant and resilient – ready with the new skills, relevant for the new jobs that are coming in and resilient to some of the changes that may come our way.”
“With the rapid changes coming our way, we never know what industries, jobs and areas will be susceptible or vulnerable. So it is very important to take proactive steps to upskill and upgrade and reskill and relearn.”
When asked about the L&D trends employers can tap on, Tay recommended bite-sized, on-the-go, and on-the-job learning.
“With the speed of change, there is a need for such digestible pieces of information to be transmitted and aggregated and cascaded in a very quick manner.”
He also noted that it is important for employers to recognise and value the effort of employees who take on bite sized learning courses.
Lead photo / 123RF
Photos / Provided by FJST