It is heartening to see NTUC taking the lead and forming a task force to look into the job aspirations of the younger generation and the difficulties they face on entering the workforce (NTUC forms task force to better understand work-life aspirations of youth, July 23).
As a training and adult educator, I have noticed that there are more young adults and fresh graduates embarking on the non-traditional path of working freelance and part-time. They do so for different reasons, but an obvious consequence is that there will be a delay in contributing to their Central Provident Fund (CPF).
I would suggest the task force take note of the following areas when it conducts its surveys and interviews:
- Recognise that the 9am to 5pm job role is all but obsolete. With the advent of Zoom, Google Classroom and other communications and learning software, remote working and flexible hours are a reality. Sometimes less can be more.
- Recognise diversity, such as including members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community in its engagements.
- Recognise that CPF contribution can be made compulsory for employers even for freelance and part-time jobs. Freelancers are providing a service and they should be given CPF benefits too.
- Recognise that more can be done in terms of education and training, especially at institutes of higher learning in the areas of life skills such as problem-solving, innovation and effective communication. Having life skills helps a person to interact with others and better grasp an understanding of things.
Ng Weng Keong