It is no secret that Singapore’s biggest natural resource is its people. From adapting to the demands of rapid transformation brought forth by COVID-19 to braving through uncertainties of unprecedented times, our workers showed how their dedication and resilience make a real difference. As we mark 60 years of Labour Movement since NTUC’s founding on 6 September 1961, we look ahead to see how our young workers matter in shaping the future of our workforce through an honest introspection with our union leaders.
Every Young Worker Matters Because… Your Willingness to Embrace Change Can Turn Challenges Into Opportunities
With change being the only constant especially amid an evolving pandemic situation, a positive mindset and the ability to look for opportunities in a flurry of challenges matter.
“Young people will be the bedrock of the future. While some of us might grumble about the inconveniences that COVID has caused us, there are many more with a never-say-die attitude. We saw youths turning challenges into opportunities. We have also seen an increasing number of young entrepreneurs and hawkerpreneurs who are willing to step out of their comfort zone to try something new,” said Dominic Yong, Chairperson for Service Sector, Young NTUC.
Though youths’ capacity to be resilient is often viewed with doubt, Lee Yong Quan, our Chairperson for Industrial Sector, provided an interesting perspective to the stereotypical sentiments:
“Youth has a different coping mechanism towards failure and adversity. Instead of rushing head-on to them, youths nowadays are lighter on their feet, and tend to be more proactive in welcoming changes. They embrace technology with open arms and are more than willing to accept changes as they come. Youths do not hold the baggage of seeing how the world had been and are thus hopeful of the future. Youths are resilient in their own rights, and they can be even better taking a leaf out of the older generation's book in hard work as well!”
Every Young Worker Matters Because… Your Success Stories in One of the Toughest Times for the Job Market Will Be An Inspiration to Others
Graduates who joined the workforce over the last one year, face one of the toughest times in the recent history of our job market. Some could not even take on a job related to their field of studies, given that commercial activities in sectors such as aviation have barely recovered from near-halt.
April Tan, Young NTUC’s Chairperson for Public Sector, observed, “This period has indeed been a huge test for our youths, especially for those who are about to start or have just embarked on their employment journey. The job market was at its lowest point and yet there are many young workers who adapt and transit into the workforce through different means, together with the help of the government and various organisations. I believe these success stories will help to spur others not to give up hope and continue to pursue their interests and desired jobs.”
The pro-activeness of youths’ willingness to pivot or adapt is also noted by Chairperson of Young NTUC Committee, Azri Zulfarhan. “The youths today are passionate and ambitious. For what they lack, they make up for it with the drive and resourcefulness to constantly upskill.”
The uplifting stories do not end at the job front. Mohamad Izhardi Misram, Young NTUC’s Co-Chairperson for Industrial Sector, reminded us of how “youths have also banded together during this pandemic to help the greatly impacted migrant workers community, and the less fortunate.”
Every Young Worker Matters Because… You Will Be the Reason for the Continuous Flourishing of Our Eco-system
“Youths today have much higher expectations about their work. They approach work in a purpose-driven way. ‘Flourishing’ and not ‘languishing’ is important for the young workers today,” shared Goh Huishan Aprilene, our Co-Chairperson for Public Sector. The recipient of Partner of Labour Movement award at the recent May Day Awards 2021 elaborated, “Every worker, doesn’t matter their age, contribute in one way or another to Singapore. All such contributions are to be respected.”
Indeed, every worker is a part of the big eco-system of Singapore’s development and progress. Even as we move forward with our respective dreams, our collective actions of living up to the expectations of others, in facing tough times together, and rising above our odds, helped shape the growth of our workforce.
Vincent Loke, Young NTUC’s Co-Chairperson for Service Sector, took words of encouragement out of our mouths: “Youths are trying their best to fulfill their dreams but at the same time, ensuring that they don’t let their loved ones down. This can be stressful but many of our youths press on. Whatever challenges we may be dealt with, never be afraid to try new things. Do not be afraid of how others view you. You do you, and trust that being the best version of yourself will suffice.”
For not giving up despite being dealt with unexpected cards, our young workers have grown from strength to strength. Through our close collaboration with employers and the Government, Young NTUC journeys on to support our youth workers’ aspirations in a new world that has withstood the storms.