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More than 10,000 workers matched so far by NTUC Job Security Council

THE National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Job Security Council has matched more than 10,000 workers into new jobs so far, said NTUC secretary-general and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Ng Chee Meng, on the first day of debate on the Fortitude Budget.

Despite the government putting nearly S$100 billion towards supporting firms, workers and households in the Covid-19 crisis, these funds "cannot replace economic activities to sustain livelihoods", he said. "We must therefore brace ourselves for tougher times, wage cuts and inevitable job losses."

Mr Ng set out what must be done - safe management to enable the economy to reopen and stay open; preserving, creating and matching workers to jobs; and using the crisis to push economic transformation - and what the labour movement is doing in each area.

For reopening, the NTUC has to date trained over 1,800 union leaders, management partners and staff on safe management measures.

As for jobs, the government's Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) has helped many firms, said Mr Ng, noting that the government took NTUC's feedback to expand the JSS in harder-hit industries.

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The NTUC also provides other tools for businesses to manage costs. In May alone, more than 500 companies sent workers for over 20,000 days' worth of training at NTUC LearningHub, receiving up to S$80 per day in absentee payroll for each worker. "This support adds up," said Mr Ng - specifically, to some S$1.6 million in support.

As for displaced workers, the NTUC Job Security Council has matched more than 10,000 workers, both rank-and-file and PMEs (professionals, managers and executives), over the last three to four months. These included those from badly-hit aviation companies and hotels, who were matched to jobs in areas such as community work, healthcare and NTUC's own Fairprice Group, avoiding retrenchment.

Firms must also continue to transform, positioning themselves and workers for new opportunities post-Covid. The NTUC will continue to partner companies in doing so, through its Company Training Committees set up within firms. Through these committees, firms can undergo operations and technology roadmapping, forming a strategic business plan for transformation.

This will not only help companies chart a course to recovery from Covid-19, but also identify new growth areas, exploit new technologies, and create new, better and more productive jobs, he said.

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