National Jobs Council to create jobs on unprecedented scale

This article is more than 12 months old

National Jobs Council chairman says it will also develop training opportunities

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 in the Fortitude Budget speech last month.

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 in a media release by the council yesterday.

"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 that 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 the tripartite partners - as well as training providers, to form a "sizeable bank" of SGUnited Jobs and Skills opportunities in various sectors and catering to every skill level.

Finally, it will coordinate efforts among the partners and effectively implement three types of programmes: job creation and matching, attachments and training for re-skilling, and job redesign to help enterprises transform.

It will align its work and implementation strategies with those of the Future Economy Council and Emerging Stronger Taskforce, it said.

Besides Mr Tharman, the other members include Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Education Indranee Rajah, Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran and Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo.

National Trades Union Congress president Mary Liew and secretary-general Ng Chee Meng, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Singapore National Employers Federation president Robert Yap and other business leaders are also on board.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who announced the formation of the council in the Fortitude Budget speech, will advise the council.