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THE labour movement is rolling out a structured system to accredit career coaches in Singapore, and it has set up a new framework to improve and recognise the competencies of this group of people.
The Practicing Employability Coach framework, or PEC as it is called, aims to encourage these coaches to practise, deepen their skills sets and commit to high professional standards.
The PEC is a key plank of the National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC) new U Career Network, an initiative to help people looking for career guidance that was first announced by labour chief Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday.
The PEC will support the NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute's (e2i) expanded career services, and help workers throughout their career journeys from pre-employment all the way to post-retirement.
According to e2i chief executive officer Gilbert Tan, the PEC will go some way towards linking up Singapore's growing community of career coaching professionals.
Speaking to the media to share more details about the U Career Network, he said the PEC framework would have four credential levels, starting with the "certified" level and going all the way up to "master".
A new entrant will first be put through a proper training programme. He or she must meet annual assessment requirements by e2i to qualify for the next level.
Mr Tan said the framework will be strengthened by the existing network of community partners, institutes of higher learning (IHLs), industry experts, and labour movement partners, each with their strengths in understanding the skills and career needs of different segments of society.
Overall, the U Career Network is made up of four groups of people:
In a statement on Wednesday, the NTUC said the "fluid and fast-changing" economic climate makes it more crucial to help workers in Singapore stay relevant in their career journeys.
Mr Chan had told reporters a day earlier that the U Career Network will begin with students in the IHLs and help them throughout their working lives.
"The labour movement will provide career guidance and job direction services for our students. We aim for this relationship to continue as our working people transit to different jobs through continuing education. From institutes of higher learning to e2i and NTUC Learning Hub, we aim to walk with our working people throughout their life cycle," he said.
One of the many industry mentors already involved in the U Career Network is Rainer Wolf, the vice-president and general manager (manufacturing) at Edwards Lifesciences in Singapore.
"The identification and development of key talents is imperative to the demands and challenges of a business environment that gets more competitive and demanding by the day," said Mr Wolf.
"Career progression is important for all of us in our professional development. I hope that many other industry leaders will join in to help identify and nurture new talents that are needed to lead Singapore to the next level of world-class economic development."