The labour movement goes on-campus to prepare the next generation for careers ahead

The signatories and witnesses of the MOU signing (from left): Associate Professor Ivan Lee, Professor Tan Thiam Soon, Ms Yeo May Fung, Mr Desmond Choo, Minister Chan Chun Sing, Dr Yap Meen Sheng, Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, Mr Patrick Tay, and Professor Tsui Kai Chong.​

Tertiary students might find the fast-evolving economy more complex in preparing for their careers. They also lack real industry knowledge and experience. The Young NTUC’s (YNTUC) Youth Career Network (YCN) programmes support our young soon-to- be working people in their career navigation. We prepare them with real time industry information and guidance they will need to navigate and succeed in the workplace. Our YCN programmes and network of over 100 volunteer career guides have helped more than 700 youth participants.

On 22 August 2017, YNTUC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) to bring YCN to their campuses and offer it exclusively to their undergraduates. The YCN programmes include:

  1. Career Discovery & Mentorship;

  2. Career Coaching;

  3. Learning Journeys; and

  4. Skills workshop.

We target to recruit and train over 60 career guides and help 500 mentees in both universities within a year.

NTUC will offer to the universities its full suite of career preparation programmes. The programmes will be customized to meet the needs of the two universities. SIT’s pilot rollout of the YCN programmes will be adapted for their engineering degree programmes. Other degree programmes will be included in due course. SIT undergraduates will be paired with career guides from relevant sectors to provide them with a deeper understanding of working life and the available opportunities when they graduate. Students will also go through career discovery workshops and learning journeys. With the engineering sector facing a manpower crunch, such mentoring and networking opportunities are crucial in maintaining a healthy pipeline of young graduates into the industry.

Young NTUC will help SUSS’s students in their seven degree programmes. Thus, the YCN programme would provide undergraduates with career guides from different industries such as the social services, banking and healthcare. Participants will be able to meet different industry partners every quarter. SUSS has also made the YCN programme compulsory for their Year One undergraduates to help them better understand their career goals. The students will be able to establish industry network early to give them a headstart.

Since the start of the YCN pilot last year, the programme has benefited many in- school youths and have given young professionals a platform to pay it forward. For example, Rossana Chen, an alumnus of SUSS is a healthcare administrator, mentor and career guide in YCN. She has shared how she could excel in her own way because her mentor had guided, supported and encouraged her to forge a career for herself. Now, she hopes to be a catalyst in someone else’s career such as her mentee, Han Quan. She helped him with insights into the industry to better prepare himself. Han Quan himself is now in the healthcare industry too.

“The Labour Movement believes strongly in partnering our institutes of higher learning to better prepare our students for the future workplace.This partnership augments the work of existing career guidance offices through a peer-to-peer mentoring system. Our career guides are easily accessible and being working professionals in different fields,they can share real-time insights into the industry. Participants can also tap on the industry insights and job opportunities from NTUC’s extensive network of corporate partners. With YCN, we hope to give our students a headstart in having clearer idea career plans and better prepared to build successful careers.” Mr Desmond Choo, Executive Secretary, Young NTUC.

“As Singapore’s university of applied learning, SIT is constantly creating opportunities for our students to integrate classroom learning with real work experience in the industry. train our students to be career-ready through active career coaching and career success workshops, as well as to better prepare them for the integrated work study programmes. Today’s MOU with Young NTUC is very much in line with our career mentoring initiative. We look forward to expanding our network of mentors from the industry to help our students navigate the workplace and succeed in their careers,” said Associate Professor Ivan Lee, Vice President (Industry & Community), SIT.

“To be career ready, graduates must be affirmed of their strengths and inclinations and know what opportunities are open to them. They also need soft skills and the right attitude that employers are looking for, such as strong work ethics. We have career specialists at SUSS who are seasoned industry practitioners to prepare our students to be able to hit the ground running. This partnership with NTUC Youth Career Network will enhance both NTUC’s and SUSS’s efforts to provide our youths with pragmatic knowledge and soft skills to succeed in their careers and make a positive impact on their organisations and society.” Dr Yap Meen Sheng, Director, UC, SUSS.


About National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is a national confederation of trade unions as well as a network of professional associations and partners across all sectors in Singapore. NTUC's objectives are to help Singapore stay competitive and working people remain employable for life; to enhance the social status and well- being of our members and working people; and to build a strong, responsible and caring labour movement. NTUC's vision is to be an inclusive labour movement for all collars, ages and nationalities. NTUC is at the heart of the Labour Movement, which comprises 60 affiliated unions, two affiliated associations, 11 social enterprises, six related organisations as well as a growing ecosystem of U Associates and enterprise partners. For more details, visit www.ntuc.org.sg.

About Young NTUC

Young NTUC is the youth wing of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). Since our founding in April of 2005, Young NTUC has grown to over 180,000 working adults aged 35 years and below. As the largest youth movement in Singapore, we strive to give voice to the needs and aspirations of young workers.

About Singapore Institute of Technology

Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) is Singapore’s university of applied learning. It aims to be a leader in innovative university education by integrating learning, industry and community. SIT offers applied degree programmes targeted at growth sectors of the economy. As a new university, SIT offers its own applied degree programmes with a unique pedagogy that integrates work and study. It also offers specialised degree programmes in partnership with world-class universities. To find out more about SIT, visit singaporetech.edu.sg.

About Singapore University of Social Sciences

Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) is one of Singapore's six national universities and its mission is to provide lifelong education that equips learners to serve society. Home to more than 14,000 students, SUSS focuses on applied education, targeting both fresh school leavers and adult learners, in the domain of social sciences. It adopts a flexible and practice focused learning approach and offers more than 60 degree programmes in various disciplines. Eligible students taking SUSS's undergraduate programmes enjoy government subsidies and access to government bursaries, tuition fee loans and study loans.