Social service sector will need 16,000 professionals by 2019, capacity to be enhanced

Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo speaking at the annual SSI graduation and awards ceremony in Republic Polytechnic on Jan 20. PHOTO: NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICE

SINGAPORE - The social services sector is set to get a boost from a new partnership that will tackle its employment needs, said Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo on Saturday (Jan 20).

This support will come through career guidance, professional development, job matching and funding schemes under a partnership agreement signed between the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).

Mrs Teo pointed out that by 2019, the social service sector will need about 16,000 professionals, up from 15,000 today, she said, and this number is set to grow.

There is a need to do more to help Singaporeans who start off with a disadvantage, and "the role of social service professionals will become more important over time", she added.

The authorities are looking to provide more structured training and career pathways as well, so that individuals can upgrade their skills as they progress in their jobs.

Mrs Teo added that by the second half of this year, a skills framework for social service will be ready.

It will provide information for people embarking in careers in the sector and outline the competencies required.

"The Government will continue to support skills development and build capabilities to meet the changing manpower demands of the sector," she said.

On Saturday, about 60 students and social service professionals received scholarships and awards at the annual SSI graduation and awards ceremony at Republic Polytechnic.

NCSS chief executive Sim Gim Guan said: "The needs in our society are evolving and becoming more complex... this partnership will boost our efforts to bring about increased number of skilled and enterprising professionals into the sector."

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