NTUC forms task force to better understand work-life aspirations of youth

The task force will engage 10,000 youth aged between 18 and 25 to gain more insights about their goals. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - A task force to better understand the work-life aspirations of youth and support them in their careers has been launched by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

Rolled out on Saturday (July 23), the task force will engage 10,000 youth aged between 18 and 25 to gain more insight into their goals, especially in the areas of career, finances and mental well-being.

The task force is chaired by NTUC assistant secretary-general Desmond Choo and led by Young NTUC executive secretary Wendy Tan.

One key component of the engagement is a roving physical exhibition called Youth Hub. Participants can access activities such as taking a career profiling test, and learn tips to drive their new job or internship to greater heights.

The Youth Hub will go to schools as well as spaces intended for youth. Those interested can visit this website to find out more.

The task force is also seeking views through surveys, focus group discussions and other activities, NTUC said.

The task force was launched at a Young NTUC event called LIT DISCOvery 2022, aimed at helping youth learn how to harness technology where they work, live and play.

At the end of the year-long engagement, the task force will share insights and recommendations on how to better support youth.

It will partner government agencies, institutes of higher learning, self-help groups and youth groups, among others, and also engage young Singaporeans who pursue non-traditional tracks like sports, arts and entrepreneurship.

Youth who have struggled in their earlier years, such as those in need of second chances, will also be included.

NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng said: "Youth will make up a large proportion of our workforce in future. As NTUC resolves to refresh and strengthen its compact with workers, we will look at the needs of our youth and help them in their careers amid local and global challenges, so that they would have a better future."

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, who was the guest of honour at the event, said in his opening address: "If the NTUC is to continue organising and mobilising the bulk of our workforce, it will have to adapt to changing trends, such as having major shifts in the nature of work - with the rise of gig and remote work creating new concerns and challenges."

Survey results

A series of surveys and focus group discussions were conducted this year, with various insights gathered from 2,039 youth aged between 18 and 35.

Across multiple surveys, it was found that more than one in five youth faced challenges in career opportunities and would like career guidance and planning support.

In a study by NTUC in partnership with Singapore University of Technology and Design's Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities in April with 1,039 youth aged between 18 and 35, it was found that the top three challenges were in areas of career opportunities and prospects (56 per cent), finances (54 per cent) and mental well-being (52 per cent).

Youth also preferred to resolve work-related problems on their own or seek help from friends, colleagues and family members, instead of other authorities and organisations. There was also a decrease in reliance among older youth on family members and friends.

In another survey by Young NTUC in February this year with 1,000 respondents between ages 18 and 25, it was found that they find job and internship opportunities (29 per cent), skills workshops (25 per cent) and career mentoring (19 per cent) most useful.

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