Lawrence Wong, Janil Puthucheary appointed advisers to labour leaders' circle

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Education Janil Puthucheary will be advisers to a group of professional association leaders, the National Trades Union Congress said on Ma
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Education Janil Puthucheary will be advisers to a group of professional association leaders, the National Trades Union Congress said on March 16, 2018.PHOTOS: KELVIN CHNG, LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - A Cabinet minister and a senior minister of state will be playing more active roles in the labour movement here.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Education Janil Puthucheary will be advisers to a group of professional association leaders, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said on Friday (March 16).

This group, called the U Associate Leaders' Circle (UALC), was set up in 2015 and comprises leaders from various professional associations in the NTUC U Associate ecosystem.

Launched in 2011, the network has 67 associations and represents more than 250,000 members from different professions.

The UALC, chaired by a senior leader from the labour movement, discusses issues affecting the various industries and allows for collaboration.

At a dialogue with more than 50 U Associate leaders on Friday, Mr Wong encouraged them to continue their outreach and engagement with professionals in their respective sectors and promote more collaboration.

He said: "Today's professionals are increasingly acquiring multiple skill sets and collaborating across industries to be more effective in their work. For example, a civil engineer will need to combine technical abilities with management and interpersonal skills to deliver a building project; a (human resources) professional may have to use data analytics to improve employee engagement and resource planning."

Last November, the NTUC announced that more People's Action Party ministers and backbenchers will be taking on more roles in NTUC unions and associations.

The move to strengthen the 63-year-old partnership between the ruling party and the labour movement comes as workers grapple with job losses arising from economic disruption, The Straits Times said in the November report.