NTUC’s New Unit Could Address Tomorrow’s Unemployment

Unlike the past, the job situation in the world today is extremely volatile simply because things are happening so damn fast.

Just last month, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) carried out a “right-sizing” exercise to reduce operating costs, which basically means cutting down on manpower. 10 percent of their manpower will be cut over the next two years.

Traditional media companies are not the only ones forced to innovate in order to survive in the digital age. Local wet markets, too, will soon lose its value once they stop serving the pioneer generation.

PurelyFresh, a local brand with five wet and dry markets in Singapore, knows this and that’s why they have digitised their traditional business and launched their “online wet market”.

Image: vulcanpost.com
Image: vulcanpost.com

Instead of forcing people today to do their grocery shopping at wet markets (which many probably wouldn’t), the team behind Purelyfresh decided to bring the wet markets to customers instead.

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Think about it: today, no companies or industries are safe. With industry disruptions on the rise, the industry you’re in, or hoping to join, might just die at any given time. Trust me, it happens.

Future Jobs, Skills and Training Unit

And that’s where NTUC’s latest brainchild, the Future Jobs, Skills and Training (FJST) unit, comes into play. FJST aims to help tomorrow’s unemployed into tomorrow’s jobs.

prime-minister-lee-hsien-loong-at-the-official-announcement-of-fjst-at-ntuc
Image:: Straits Times

Over the past couple of years, the Labour Movement has been building up a strong network with unions in different industries, professional bodies, government agencies, consultancies and educational institutions.

By gathering and analysing data from the expanded Labour Movement network, FJST hopes to be able to accurately pinpoint job vacancies available tomorrow.

However, it’s not enough knowing which industry has job opportunities. FJST wants to find out exactly which company has job vacancies available. 

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Where Will Your Job Be Tomorrow?

And that’s not all. The FJST unit also wants to be able to predict the future by knowing where investments are going into and where jobs are going to appear over a three-year timeframe.

FJST will run pilot projects in 5 main areas by 2019: financial services, Infocomm technology and media, precision engineering, healthcare, early childhood and private education.

Why Should I Care?

If you’re currently working at a position and living comfortably, will you take things seriously when one day, someone comes up to you and tell you, hey, you’re going to lose your job in three years’ time! Why not take up some skills training to keep yourself relevant to another industry?

Chances are, you’ll avoid them like the salesman you see on the streets.

If we don’t learn well enough and we don’t learn fast enough, we will be ill-prepared for the new economy. We can continue to build on what we are good at but if it is not relevant to the market, we will still be out of a job.

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Image: Facebook (Chan Chun Sing)
Image: Facebook (Chan Chun Sing)

At the NTUC’s U Future Leaders Summit, Labour Chief Chan Chun Sing, called on Singaporeans to stay alert as our livelihoods and future depend on the forces beyond us. 

As he rightly pointed out, we need to ask ourselves this question. “Whatever we do, can it or can it not be done over the internet? Will the internet take away our jobs?”

Will we let technology destroy or enable us?

Chan Chun Sing said that geopolitical forces and technological disruption can provide both challenges and opportunities, and it does not mean we will necessarily lose out just because there are technological changes.

“It all depends on how we get our act together. It all depends on which part of the value chain we want to play in. The choice is ours. The destiny is within our control.

And if anything, if any city or any country can get this right, we have every chance to get this right in Singapore because of our connectivity, because of our baseline education level, and because of our gumption to try.”

He added that circumstances don’t define us. Our responses to circumstances define us.

If you’re starting to feel worried, it’s a good sign. Being “kiasu” and “kiasi” Singaporeans, we will definitely be smart enough to find out what the market needs and equip ourselves with those necessary skill sets.

Perhaps, living in the future is not that bad after all. 

Feature Image: Facebook (Chan Chun Sing)

This article was first published on goodyfeed.com

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Boon Hun

Boon Hun

Armed with paper and pen, or rather keyboard and the internet, he wants to change the world one word at a time. I guess you could call him a keyboard warrior, except he doesn't troll, honest!
Boon Hun