Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Singaporeans have overcome great odds as a nation since our independence 58 years ago. Today, as we celebrate National Day, we have become a vibrant nation with a robust economy, and a harmonious society. This could not have been possible without our workers’ contributions. Our strong and unique brand of tripartism has played a key role.
However, even as we celebrate our accomplishments, we cannot afford to be complacent. Uncertainty abounds on the road ahead. Geostrategic tension between rival great powers and a weaker global economic outlook are expected to impact Singapore, including our economic growth this year.
Specifically in the workplace, rapid technological developments are transforming the way we work and altering the nature of jobs across all spectrums of the workforce. These developments will have a profound impact on our workers’ livelihoods and NTUC’s compact with workers.
In view of these challenges, NTUC has taken decisive actions to refresh our workers compact and to champion our workers’ concerns and needs.
Securing our Workers’ Employment and Employability in the Future Economy through Training
Training remains key to NTUC’s strategy to ensure our workers’ employment and employability in the future economy.
Training ensures that no worker is left behind. With relevant skill sets, workers can retain their competitive edge, remain agile and adaptive to the changing needs of the workplace, and advance in their careers. To support our workers in this regard, NTUC has formed over 1,455 Company Training Committees (CTCs) and trained over 100,000 workers across various sectors of our economy.
CTCs enable win-win outcomes for employers and workers by institutionalising workers’ training to business outcomes. In doing so, CTCs ensure that training results in increased workforce productivity, better wages, welfare and work prospects for our workers.
Championing our Workers’ Interest across the Different Segments of our Workforce
In addition to the advances that we have made in the training space this year, we have also successfully championed the interests of our workers across all segments.
I know that cost of living remains a key concern for many as our inflation rate continues to remain elevated. We have worked hard to help workers manage rising costs by ensuring that the cost of essential items and services remain affordable through our social enterprises like NTUC FairPrice.
We have also maintained the course to better support and uplift our vulnerable workers. For our lower wage workers, we have expanded the Progressive Wage Model to benefit 17,000 workers in the Food Services sector. For our platform workers, NTUC will soon be able to represent them once the bill allowing for representative bodies to champion platform workers’ interests is passed.
We are also intensifying our outreach into niche and underserved worker segments, including the youth, caregivers and ex-offenders. In the youth space, we launched a new NTUC Starter Membership in July this year – a membership innovation that will better support our youth in the spaces of Work, Live and Play.
We will also start accepting applications for the Career Starter Lab pilot from 1 September. Moving ahead, we intend to scale up our mentorship network through our new Mentorship Hub and expand our network of mental well-being supporters.
Your Voice, Our Mission: A Better Future for All Workers
I am also happy to share that we have concluded our #EveryWorkerMatters Conversation (EWMC) campaign. Over the course of EWMC, NTUC engaged over 40,000 workers. Almost half of these engagements were done in person, of whom a quarter were youth aged 17 to 25.
I am very grateful to our union leaders and staff who have gone above and beyond their call of duty by volunteering their time to forge a compact that they believe in and are willing to do their part for. We will be sharing our key insights and recommendations over the next couple of months.
NTUC will continue championing the changing needs of our workers, in areas such as ensuring basic retirement adequacy for all workers including older workers who have consistently worked and contributed to their Central Provident Fund, as well as better support for caregivers.
As we commemorate National Day, NTUC would like to thank all our workers for their contributions to Singapore’s economic development, and reaffirm our commitment to building a vibrant Singapore where #EveryWorkerMatters.
Happy National Day!
Ng Chee Meng