North East CDC aims to get residents ready for digital disruption

The North East Community Development Council (CDC) has launched an initiative to better prepare residents for digital disruption and changes to the economy.

The Get Ready package aims to bring together services from various agencies - including the People's Association, the Employment and Employability Institute, SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore - to provide "comprehensive support" in employment, employability and upskilling.

The Get Ready package was launched on Sunday at Get Up, a one-day event at Our Tampines Hub, which included a job fair and booths promoting courses for residents to upgrade their skills.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng said it is crucial for workers to upgrade themselves and learn new skills to remain relevant.

"Everyone must remain adaptable and agile to disruptions coming their way, and embrace these changes," said Mr Baey, an MP for Tampines GRC.

All Singapore citizens and permanent residents living in the North East District can sign up for the package at the district's job placement centres - located in Hougang, Paya Lebar, Kaki Bukit and Sengkang - as well as the Career Hub in Punggol.

"Experienced career coaches will be deployed on-site to assist residents in a comprehensive assessment of their employability status and training needs," said North East CDC, adding that residents will also be able to enjoy complimentary training, job referrals and employability workshops.

An initial 23 SkillsFuture courses - ranging from entrepreneurship and photo-editing to robotic process automation - have been chosen for the package and will be reviewed periodically, said North East CDC.

The Get Ready package is aimed specifically at residents who are in their late 50s or older, North East District Mayor Desmond Choo told The Straits Times.

This is because they may not be as comfortable with digital skills, and are likely to be working in jobs that are prone to disruption.

"They also face other challenges. Their kids are likely to still be studying, and they may still be supporting elderly parents," said Mr Choo, who is also an MP for Tampines GRC.

It is vital that they be provided with relevant skills and directed to more resilient job sectors, he added. This applies regardless of the state of the economy, but is especially important in tough times.

Mr Choo said he hopes that the package will be able to reach at least 3,000 to 5,000 residents over the next three years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2019, with the headline 'North East CDC aims to get residents ready for digital disruption'. Print Edition | Subscribe