Tie-up to boost social service sector's manpower needs

The social service sector is set to get a boost from a new partnership that will tackle its employment needs, said Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo yesterday.

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).

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

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

The Government is also working with the sector to provide more structured training and career pathways, so that individuals can upgrade their skills as they progress in their jobs.

Mrs Teo said that by the second half of this year, a skills framework will be ready.

It will provide information for people embarking on 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.

Yesterday, around 60 students and social service professionals received scholarships and awards at the annual Social Service Institute graduation and awards ceremony at Republic Polytechnic.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 21, 2018, with the headline 'Tie-up to boost social service sector's manpower needs'. Print Edition | Subscribe