Young people air concerns on jobs at dialogue session
Employment and the future of work was among topics discussed at dialogue with ministers and other office-holders
Jobs and the difficulty of finding them were a hot topic at a virtual dialogue organised by the National Youth Council last Saturday.
Institute of Technical Education student Aqilah Diyanah Parvin Ah - one of 121 people at the session - is worried about how she and her peers will find work, given the economic impact of the pandemic.
Ms Aqilah, 20, said in an interview after the event that while the next generation entering the workforce is armed with diplomas or degrees, it seems that every company is looking for hires with experience. "But it's really hard to get the experience that you need," she noted.
Three topics were discussed at the dialogue hosted by Culture, Community and Youth Minister Edwin Tong: jobs and the future of work; support for vulnerable groups; and environment and sustainability.
The event was part of the Singapore Together Emerging Stronger Conversations (ESC) that have been convened by the Government since June to look at the impact of the pandemic and consider what actions can be taken.
Open to citizens and permanent residents, the conversations, which will now also be held in Malay, Mandarin and Tamil, besides English, allow participants to share their hopes and plans for a more caring, cohesive, and resilient post-Covid-19 society.
There have been 11 virtual sessions and SG Together ESC surveys on two apps, LifeSG and OneService, with more to come.
Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Defence Zaqy Mohamad, Minister of State for Education, and Social and Family Development Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Home Affairs, and Sustainability and the Environment Desmond Tan, and Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth, and Social and Family Development Eric Chua also attended last Saturday's session.
Mr Mohamed Rudy Abdul Hamid, a senior social service executive, said one of the participants in his small group discussion suggested having more opportunities for work exposure and internships earlier, such as in secondary school.
"I think that goes a long way. If I had such an opportunity back in school, I would have definitely grabbed it," said the 31-year-old.
Mr Rudy's personal experiences with internships opened his eyes to what he did and did not enjoy doing, and shaped him to be who he was, he said, so such opportunities at a young age could be beneficial.
Mr Tong, in his closing remarks, encouraged participants not to treat the dialogue as the end but to exchange contacts, grow their ideas and think about how they can be developed.
"Then, come back and share your ideas with us," he added.
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