NTUC Youth Taskforce and Varsity Voices Hold Dialogue with Students to Address Concerns

The youth’s concerns include career aspirations, financial adequacy, and mental well-being.
By Shukry Rashid 10 Sep 2022

NTUC Youth Taskforce, on 9 September 2022, organised a closed-door dialogue session with student-body initiative Varsity Voices to discuss youth concerns regarding career aspirations, financial adequacy, and mental well-being.

The dialogue also focused on how the youth can prepare to transition to working life.

NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng graced the event, addressing student concerns about stepping into working life.

NTUC said the dialogue comes amidst the changing economic backdrop, driving forces such as sustainable development and digitalisation, and growing demands for flexible work arrangements.

NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Desmond Choo said that the partnership with Varsity Voices allows the Labour Movement to learn more about the youth and forge a compact with them through youth organisations.

He added: “It is encouraging to see this meaningful discourse being carried out, and as NTUC wants to be the guiding buddy in their work-life journeys, such partnerships are an important pillar to build our future workforce and create the desired workplace.”

Varsity Voices is an inter-university network of students from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University.

Almost 70 people attended the dialogue, and the participants were students from various institutes of higher learning.

Students’ Concerns

In a poll, students who attended the dialogue shared that their top three concerns are planning their career journey, financial adequacy, and mental well-being.

The concerns were consistent with the findings from a study by Young NTUC earlier this year.

Students in the dialogue also shared their concerns about ensuring employability, the skills needed to be attractive to future employers and how to be better prepared before stepping into the workforce.

The dialogue session also discussed creating workplace boundaries and taking on more tasks than a worker can handle.

Mr Choo, one of the dialogue panellists, said that it is normal to have a sense of duty and want to take on more responsibilities at work to impress an employer.

However, he added that employers now are quite reasonable if workers are upfront with their work struggles and that it is better to do well at lesser tasks than do poorly on multiple tasks.

Year-long Engagement

The dialogue is part of the taskforce’s year-long engagement launched in July to engage 10,000 youth, gain insights, and support those aged 18 to 25 before joining the workforce.

NTUC said the taskforce had engaged more than 1,000 youth, with more engagements with polytechnics slated in October.

The NTUC Youth Taskforce falls within #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations, a larger-scale series of engagements aimed at engaging all workers across various life stages. Find out more about the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations at conversations.ntuc.sg.

Related story: NTUC Engages Institutes of Higher Learning as Part of Its Youth Taskforce