Workforce Singapore (WSG) has reported that full-time national servicemen (NSFs) who are about to complete their National Service (NS) can look forward to more targeted employment and education assistance at the recently-held Enhanced Career and Education Fair (ECEF) - organised by WSG, the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home Affairs.

The ECEF aims to facilitate the NSFs’ transition to the workforce or further studies after they complete full-time National Service (NS). As one of the 30 recommendations by the Committee to Strengthen National Service, this latest ECEF is the eighth quarterly edition of the fair, which has been running since November 2015.

The ECEF comprises two components - a career fair and an education exhibition. The career fair features about 2,000 job offerings from 30 employers across nine different industries. These jobs have been curated based on the NSFs’ indicated courses of study and areas of interest obtained at the point of registration.

On the other hand, the education exhibition showcases study schemes such as SkillsFuture’s Earn and Learn programmes, as well as the course offerings at 18 Continuing Education and Training Centres, and Institutes of Higher Learning.

To deliver a more focused and meaningful experience for registered NSFs, WSG has leveraged technology in several areas:

  1. Interested NSFs have a month to register electronically in advance for the ECEF, and can immediately gain access to a customised set of e-resources, such as career preparation tips, career skills workshops and industry insights to prepare them for their career search.
  2. Furthermore, the NSFs’ past course of study and job interests were taken into consideration in curating the employers participating in the fair to improve matching. Such information also includes date of availability and salary expectations which are used to generate personalised QR codes. NSFs may extend these codes to prospective employers, instead of having to manually complete application forms. This helps to maximise the quality of interaction time between NSF jobseekers and the employers during the fair.
  3. Another 6,000 jobs from the Jobs Bank will be made available on a customised virtual platform, accessible only to registered NSFs, which will run for two weeks until 29 August 2017. NSFs can therefore continue to access job listings and apply for jobs with participating companies after the end of the physical fair.

In the release, Tan Choon Shian, chief executive of WSG, commented: “NSFs, like many other jobseekers, are digitally savvy. They are used to consuming information on different digital platforms. The integration of technology in the design of today’s Enhanced Career and Education Fair today allows WSG to customise our career matching service to more effectively match the work-bound national servicemen and employers who wish to hire them.”

Meanwhile, Tan Li Sheng, director national service policy, Manpower Division of the Ministry of Defence said: “As we commemorate 50 years of NS, we continually find ways to support our NSFs as they transit to the workforce or further studies after they complete full-time NS. We recently completed the accreditation of 23 SAF courses under the Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) scheme. The ECEF, now further enhanced with the integration of technology, is one key avenue to maximise NSFs’ employment and education opportunities after their full-time NS.”

Attending the event, Amrin Amin, parliamentary secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health, remarked: “The introduction of the Virtual Career Fair and other digital platforms is a step in the right direction to reach out to our NSFs. It is accessible, convenient and informative.” “It allows NSFs who may not be able to attend these career fairs due to operational duties or other commitments, to still be able to benefit from the job opportunities and other career and education-related resources made available at these career fairs at their own convenience. These tools are meant to help our NSFs and I strongly encourage them to make use of these resources to prepare for the next phase in their lives as they enter the workforce,” he concluded.

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