SINGAPORE - The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) announced on Monday (Aug 13) plans to form a new National Instructors and Coaches Association (Nica).
The new association aims to look after the interests of freelancers who teach sports, enrichment and wellness in schools and communities.
This covers Sport Singapore, People's Association and Co-curricular Activity coaches and instructors in fields such as sports, music and dance.
NTUC estimates that there are some 5,000 full-time freelancers in these fields.
Nica will seek to rally different freelancing communities together so that they can become a stronger voice in representing themselves, resolving work issues, such as payment disputes, and enhancing their work prospects via networking and training, for instance.
For example, a Nica member may have access to exclusive insurance deals, training support and profession-relevant master-classes.
NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng said: "The whole intent of what we are doing is to deepen our reach and extend our services to the freelancers in Singapore. In the new economy, the freelancers are increasing in numbers and we estimate that there are almost 200,000 in Singapore today, so how do we take better care of them?
"NTUC would like to leverage on our strengths, our networks, to work better with government agencies that are the main buyers of these services... so that the freelancers will have a better prospect of earning a good income while they teach our children."
"NTUC has been working with various groups of coaches and instructors, and we realise that they face similar issues, common threats and training needs," added NTUC assistant director-general and director of the freelancers and self-employed unit Ang Hin Kee.
"We hope to leverage these networks to do more. By forming a National Instructors and Coaches Association, we hope to gather the different voices and make it a stronger and more representative one."
On the new initiative, freelance netball coach Justin Teh said: "As a freelance coach where my job involves physical activities, any injury could mean being out of action for some time and that equates to zero income during that period of time.
"While the intent of the new association is to help us freelancers mitigate some of that income loss, I think it is more important that the association is representative enough to speak or bargain with industry stakeholders to improve our livelihood and careers as freelancers."