Measures have been put in place to do more for Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs) and address their growing concerns of PMEs.
The PME Unit has been looking to help PMEs in four key areas since its inception in 2011: Protection, Progression, Placement and Privileges.
The past years have seen an emphasis on Protection, with an amended Employment Act and the amendments to the Industrial Relations Act having taken effect since 1 April 2015.
The PME Unit’s focus will turn to Progression for the next two years. A recent survey highlighted the challenges that PMEs face at work, one of which is the concern of not being sufficiently confident in their current skill-set and knowledge in their respective industries.
Ready For The Future
The survey findings (see page 4) showed that there was a need to help PMEs be future-ready by being armed with better skill-sets and increased knowledge.
There is an evident need for second skilling and upskilling, to ensure they are well equipped to help them meet career aspirations while moving up the career ladder at the same time. Training courses will be made more readily available to accommodate busy work schedules, with a slew of courses and classes to kick off PME Week. Given the nature of the busy schedules of PMEs, these events will take place during lunch and after work hours (see page 7).
“Through our recent survey done on PMEs, we found out that many of them face challenges pertaining to their current skill-set and knowledge. We chose to focus on the young and the mature PMEs because we have been interacting with many PMEs across different life stages and found that these two groups have particular needs and face their own set of challenges.
The Labour Movement will also make use of existing programmes from U Associate and Future Leaders Summit.
For example, U Associate together with the Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES) launched the Young Engineers Leadership (YEL) Programme. It is supported by the Devan Nair Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).
“We therefore hope to be able to assist young PMEs in their career progression and for the mature PMEs to be able to be a source of support because reports suggest that those above 40 take a longer time to find work if they become unemployed for a variety of reasons.”
NTUC Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) Patrick Tay, who is also the Director of the NTUC PME Unit.
The yearly Future Leaders Summit is another platform for PMEs – the symposium gives PMEs the necessary tools to prepare themselves for the competitive landscape in their respective industries to become future leaders.
The Labour Movement will also work closely with other key partners like e2i, Next U (Singapore’s largest continuing education provider) and the NTUC LearningHub to hold workshops that will have industry-specific topics.
Students in their final year at university can also look forward to getting a headstart in their careers, with Young NTUC offering pre-employment preparation courses.
“Very soon, PMEs can look forward to having more career-related training options in the heart of the Central Business District (CBD) offered through our U PME Centres. This will be done in partnership with e2i and CaliberLink, and the programmes are targetted to work in alignment with the Government’s training initiatives like the SkillsFuture funding. PMEs are encouraged to take charge of their careers and prepare for the future,” said ASG Tay.
Leveraging on the right networks
The SkillsFuture Credit will also play a huge role in helping PMEs achieve their second skilling and upskilling goals. Announced during Budget 2015, the new initiative gives Singaporeans aged 25 and above an initial credit of $500, which can be used for a range of courses supported by government agencies.
ASG Tay said: “With the SkillsFuture Credit and existing UTAP (Union Training Assistance Programme) funding, we’re increasingly creating an environment to encourage more lifelong learning. This represents a shift from employer-based training to individually-initiated training.
“Individuals can pick up skills not just particular to their job, but also in an area they may be passionate about. Having second skilling makes it easier to switch sectors if there’s a need to.”
(Source: NTUC This Week)