Singapore

Joint task force to help PMEs build skills for new economy

A new joint task force, comprising union and industry representatives, will look into the employability and upskilling of professionals, managers and executives (PMEs), particularly older ones, to help them stay relevant for the new economy.

Announcing this yesterday, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) secretary-general Ng Chee Meng said the group will also work with the Government to review policies impacting PMEs and conduct research to gain insight into future trends, jobs and skills.

Through these engagements, it aims to provide recommendations on government policies and the best human resource practices, and enable PME training by May 1 next year.

Over the next six months, the task force will engage and involve PMEs and employers through a series of polls, focus group discussions and events to identify key concerns, needs and potential skill gaps in the workforce, said Mr Ng.

Co-led by NTUC assistant secretary-general Patrick Tay and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) executive director Sim Gim Guan, the task force comprises union and industry representatives from the industrial, service and public sectors. Mr Ng and SNEF president Robert Yap will be its advisers.

A press statement on the task force said it will focus on the protection and enablement of PMEs in three key areas:

  • Enhance the employability of PMEs and reduce the risk of retrenchment;
  • Encourage employers to retain and build capabilities for workforce and business transformations, as well as economic recovery; and
  • Enable PMEs through upskilling and reskilling to enhance their employability.

During a keynote speech at the Labour Research Conference 2020 yesterday, Mr Ng noted that PMEs, especially those aged between 40 and 60, are more vulnerable due to economic transformation and technological disruption.

He said NTUC will look at how to better represent mature PMEs in the workplace and equip them with skills to secure jobs amid the challenges facing the economy.

Employment