The new National Jobs Council will work in the coming months to grow jobs and training opportunities on a much greater scale than anything attempted before, said its chairman, Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, yesterday.
The high-level council has 17 members, including eight ministers and representatives from the labour movement and business associations. It will oversee the design and implementation of the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Fortitude Budget speech last week.
The package aims to support close to 100,000 job seekers over the next 12 months by creating new vacancies, traineeships and skills training places.
"We must work together as a national team to grow jobs and training opportunities in the coming months, on a scale well beyond any past experience," said Mr Tharman. "It is a challenging task, but achievable with tight coordination, and the tripartite partners going beyond established ways. We will use every way possible to create these opportunities, in both the public and private sectors, and pay special attention to our middle-aged and older workers."
After its first meeting yesterday, the council said one of its three priorities is to identify and develop job opportunities for Singaporeans amid Covid-19 and its aftermath. It will also mobilise the Government, employers and unions - known as tripartite partners - as well as training providers, to form a "sizeable bank" of opportunities in various sectors, catering to every skill level.
And it will coordinate efforts among the partners and effectively implement three types of programmes: job creation and matching, attachments and training for reskilling, and job redesign to help enterprises transform.
DPM Heng, who is advising the council and was at the meeting, said he was glad to see the sense of urgency and resolve among members. "Our tripartite partnership - where businesses and trade associations, workers and NTUC, together with the Government, work together - is a great source of strength that serves our people well, especially in these difficult times," he added.
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