Professional Bodies Urged To Work Closer With NTUC
30 Jan 2015
By Fawwaz Baktee
Addressing some 500 participants at the inaugural U AssociateConvention on 28 January 2015, NTUC Secretary-General (SG) Lim Swee Say called for the active participation of professional bodies to fill the tripartism gap for the benefit of the growing number of PMEs in Singapore’s workforce.
The tripartite framework today is effective for the rank-and-file workers but it is incomplete in looking after the interests of Professionals, Managers and Executives(PMEs) without the active involvement of professional bodies, he said.
“We are going to see more PMEs in our workforce, and more PMEs will face challenges in employment and employability,” said SG Lim.
SG Lim also said that if the unions try to double up as professional bodies or vice versa, both parties will not go very far. In that regard, both parties can offer "a complete package of the 4Ps" - Progression, Protection, Placement and Privileges - if they work together as partners.
Elaborating further, he said that the U Associate partnership will help cover a wide range of professions and gave examples of partners such as the Institute of Estate Agents, Singapore (IEA), covering estate agents; The Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES), covering the engineering professionals; Singapore Computer Society (SCS), covering IT professionals; and Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI), covering Human Resource practitioners.
Grant To Strengthen U Associate Partnership
The convention also saw the commitment of a $3 million U Associate Grant in a bid to reach out to more PMEs through the professional bodies.
Geared towards developing both the capabilities of U Associate partners and members, the grant will be disbursed over a three-year period and will be used to support partners in membership recruitment and retention, as well as contribute towards professional development, upgrading capabilities and employability enhancement.
The grant was tapped from the $50 million NTUC Development Fund which was set up in 2011 to strengthen the Labour Movement for the future.
New U Associate Partners
The Singapore Chapter for the global Project Management Institute (SPMI) and the Financial Planning Association of Singapore (FPAS) signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with NTUC at the convention, becoming the latest partners to come onboard the U Associate initiative and bringing the total number of partners to 12.