A stand for change: A youth leader’s commitment to empowering young workers

Nur Akidah Ramad shares her journey of discovering a passion for union work and being a voice for youth in Singapore.
By Kay del Rosario 16 Jun 2023
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“This may sound cliché, but you should be the change you want to see.

 

“Instead of just talking about it, whining about it, complaining about it, why not do something about it?”

 

And indeed, Nur Akidah Ramad lives by her words.

 

The 33-year-old scheduling executive at Mediacorp is making waves as a youth leader, peer supporter, and the voice of young workers in Singapore.

 

Her journey began in 2018 when she joined the Singapore Union of Broadcasting Employees (SUBE) and subsequently became an executive committee member. Since then, her passion for union work has only grown stronger.

 

“I often participate in the events and activities my company organises.

 

“It was through these events that I met more of my colleagues who were union leaders. They encouraged me to get involved and be active in organising events or activities,” Akidah shared.

 

 

Connecting with young workers

 

As the current Young NTUC Service Sector Co-Chairperson, Akidah rallies young leaders, strengthens their bonds and brainstorms ideas to reach out to more young working people.

 

She believes in forging ties and creating relationships with young workers first, as it forms the basis for effective engagement.

 

By staying connected through social media and personal communication, she ensures that they feel valued and included.

 

“I get to gather with my fellow young union leaders from different sectors.

 

“We share updates on the problems and challenges youth face in their careers. It's interesting to learn from them and understand the issues they are facing,” Akidah said.

 

Overcoming challenges and building resilience

 

Akidah acknowledges the challenges of engaging busy working adults but remains undeterred.

 

She recalled an instance where she organised a stand-up paddle event for her colleagues but received zero replies.

 

Undeterred, she sought feedback and learned that factors like bad timing and preferences for other activities played a role. Armed with this knowledge, she adapted her approach, ensuring that future events cater to the interests and availability of young workers.

 

“One of the challenges I face is reaching out to people. Sometimes, I don't get any response. I try to understand their concerns and why they didn’t sign up for events.

 

“It’s about engaging with them and creating a relationship, understanding what they are looking for,” said Akidah.

 

An advocate for mental well-being

 

Recognising the importance of mental health, Akidah underwent training as a peer supporter to provide an encouraging environment for young workers experiencing challenges in the workplace.

 

She understands that being present and actively listening can significantly impact someone’s well-being. And while she may not have all the answers, she can direct them to relevant resources and be a compassionate outlet for them to express themselves.

 

“I’ve been trained as a peer supporter under Young NTUC’s WSQ-certified training in peer-to-peer mental well-being support at work.

 

“I try to implement the skills I learnt into my daily life, offering a listening ear for whoever wants to share their stories with me,” Akidah said.

 

A journey of growth and empowerment

 

A self-confessed introvert, Akidah initially preferred administrative work and shied away from public speaking.

 

However, her involvement in NTUC exposed her to various platforms, building her confidence and interpersonal skills.

 

She believes in being proactive and participates in dialogue sessions, talks, and self-upgrading courses – aiming to make a positive difference in people around her.

 

“NTUC has put me on various platforms that helped build my confidence and interpersonal skills. I hope to make an impact on the lives of young workers, to bring about positive change,” she said.

 

Inspiring future generations

 

“I hope that more young workers can take part in activities that will allow their voices to be heard and to stand up for change,” said Akidah.

 

This advocacy and unwavering commitment to effecting change have not only touched the lives of others but also fostered her personal growth.

 

By helping those around her, Akidah found that she has also helped herself.

 

“I hope that in the future I can be more confident, be more positive about myself so that I can make an impact on not just other people’s lives but also on mine,” Akidah said.

 

Akidah’s efforts were recognised with a Partner of Labour Movement award at the May Day Awards 2023.