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MP calls for internship opportunities in Temasek-owned firms, public sector

SINGAPORE — Calling on the Government, as well as Temasek-owned companies, to open up internship opportunities for younger Singaporeans, Member of Parliament (MP) Desmond Choo said that such a move will go some way in easing their anxieties in navigating the job market.

MP calls for internship opportunities in Temasek-owned firms, public sector

Minister Grace Fu, Mr Desmond Choo (Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC and Executive Secretary of Young NTUC) and Ms Denise Phua (Mayor of Central Singapore District) talking to one of the learning partners, Gen Infiniti Academy at Todo Todo Skills Marketplace @ Central Singapore.

SINGAPORE — Calling on the Government, as well as Temasek-owned companies, to open up internship opportunities for younger Singaporeans, Member of Parliament (MP) Desmond Choo said that such a move will go some way in easing their anxieties in navigating the job market.

Mr Choo, who is assistant secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the executive secretary of Young NTUC, was speaking to reporters on Friday (Jan 25) on the sidelines of an event he was attending — the fourth instalment of the Todo Todo Skills Marketplace, which aims to help young people get a headstart in their careers.

Mr Choo said that through his work with Young NTUC, he has noticed two areas of concern among young people, which he hopes the upcoming Budget will tackle.

The first is younger graduates “finding that it takes them longer to find a job of their choice”.

“So there is some uncertainty. Our younger people are feeling a bit more stressed out now, in terms of having to get a job upon graduation,” he said.

The second area of concern among younger Singaporeans is that their skills may become irrelevant.

“Many younger people... find that after working for a short while, their skills may not be relevant and they want to change or switch to a different career path,” Mr Choo added.

To alleviate some of the uncertainties and anxieties that jobseekers have, the MP is calling on the Government to open up internship opportunities

This will allow younger Singaporeans “to have a leg-up in their job search”.

“We also want to encourage (the companies) to work closer with NTUC to open up more opportunities for younger people, like this kind of platform,” Mr Choo said, referring to the Todo Todo Skills Marketplace.

The platform, a joint initiative by NTUC and the People's Association, is a network of the Labour Movement, businesses, grassroots and industry professionals for youth to better navigate their career journey.

Mr Choo is also calling on the authorities to subsidise more courses for younger Singaporeans, to allow them to pick up new skills.

He told reporters that another group he would like to focus on at the upcoming Budget debate would be young parents and their families.

He said that there is “scope” for the Government to ease the burden of this “sandwiched group” which, he noted, includes young children and parents who were retiring or already retired.

One suggestion was making family-care leave mandatory for all companies and not just those that are “progressive”.

Mr Choo said of his “Budget wish-list”: “(The message) we want to send to our younger Singaporeans is that we understand your constraints, but there are opportunities out there. The Government will want to help you (take on) these opportunities.”

Culture, Community and Youth Minister Grace Fu, who attended the Todo Todo Skills Marketplace event as guest-of-honour, echoed Mr Choo’s comments.

“The Government is serious about supporting young people to meet future challenges,” she said. 

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Internship Temasek Desmond Choo Grace Fu

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