Forum: Some ideas for Singapore to stay prepared for the new normal

I congratulate The Straits Times for its feature "Will Covid-19 create a 'lost generation' in Asia?" (Nov 14). It is both factual and gives hope, especially to young people who are entering the workplace for the first time.

I wish to propose some more ideas that Singapore can easily implement to help Singaporeans stay prepared for a longer-than-expected reset to pre-Covid-19 times.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry can help jump-start the local apparel industry with more environmentally sustainable fashion that incorporates the mask as an integral part of every design. This can complement the strong demand for just "fast fashion" and hopefully create more jobs for local designers.

Also, the ministry can encourage more Singaporeans to look at the redesign of e-sports wearables, especially as these products can be used for hours (Co-founder of gaming chair maker Secretlab is EY Entrepreneur of the Year, Nov 10).

Next, since China has targeted to be carbon neutral by 2060, the Ministry of Finance can collaborate with the local accounting industry to co-create a carbon neutral guidebook and appraisal form to help Singaporean accountants who may want to enter China to be carbon neutral consultants or auditors. In the meantime, Nanyang Technological University and Ngee Ann Polytechnic can spearhead creating a new curriculum to help students be certified to enter this new market.

Third, the Ministry of Health should also create more training opportunities for Singaporeans who may want to be part of a global movement to help administer the Covid-19 vaccines when they are available. There is also an urgent need to create cross-media multilingual content to educate people about the importance of vaccination. This is to counter the current spread of fake news about the dangers of these vaccines.

Lastly, the Ministry of Education should relook the current social studies curriculum to include a section that incorporates how, with the Covid-19 pandemic, all young people must be prepared to change their mindset about being willing to work two or more different jobs and look towards Asean for future job opportunities.

Colin Ong Tau Shien

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