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NTUC to pilot the Career Starter Lab to help the youth kickstart their careers

The enhanced career trial model will officially launch by the end of 2023, with over 100 companies on board.

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By Kay del Rosario 28 Apr 2023
Career Starter Lab media session.JPG
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NTUC has announced a new Career Starter Lab for youth to be launched before the end of this year.


This pilot initiative is in partnership with the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF). It aims to support National Servicemen who have recently completed their full-time National Service and fresh graduates from Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs).


The enhanced career trial model is designed to help youth kickstart their career journeys as they become working adults. It will ride on an ecosystem supported by SNEF, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), employers, Young NTUC, NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and other partners.


NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng shared plans for the pilot NTUC Career Starter Lab on 27 April 2023, ahead of the NTUC May Day 2023 celebrations.


“NTUC and SNEF will rally more progressive employers into our ecosystem to provide enhanced career trials for them. We want to assure our youth that we will be alongside them as they enter the workforce,” Mr Ng said.


The pilot programme aims to have over 100 companies on board by the end of 2023. It will provide youth with workplace mentorship as part of a dedicated support framework. Companies that have initially signed on include YCH Group, Vicinity Studio and Copthorne King’s Hotel. 


What is the Career Starter Lab?


  • It is a three-month trial for a hosting company and a jobseeker to explore a mutual job fit before embarking on full-time employment
  • Jobseekers would undergo a structured training programme with a workplace mentor matched with them

Which jobseekers can apply for it?


  • Those who have graduated from the Institutes of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics, or autonomous universities during the current year
  • Those who have graduated from the above institutes and completed full-time National Service during the current year

*Applicants will be able to register their interest by the end of this year.


How can employers become part of it?


  • They must have ready vacancies with permanent roles or 12-month full-time contract
  • They must offer a monthly salary of $1,800 to $4,200 based on the prevailing average starting salaries of Institutes of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnic and university graduates
  • They must provide workplace mentors for jobseekers
  • They must have a structured training programme

*Companies can register their interest at


NTUC and SNEF will develop a career trial guide to help employers enhance their onboarding, structured training and mentorship programmes to better integrate young jobseekers into their organisational culture.


Employers will also receive Career Trial support, administered by e2i, during the trial period, such as training allowance and retention incentives.


The Career Starter Lab was developed based on feedback from youth during the NTUC Youth Taskforce’s engagements with over 10,000 young people since July last year.


Out of those engaged, nearly 4,000 youth were asked to list the resources they needed to transition from school to their desired careers. Quality internships (31.4 per cent) and career mentorships (18.9 per cent) were the top two resources.


Mr Ng said: “Youth are our future workforce. As Every Worker Matters, NTUC wants to play a bigger role in meeting our youth’s needs and serving them better as they kickstart their careers.


“The NTUC Career Starter Lab will help our youth seize good opportunities so that they can progress into their careers with confidence.”