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‘Rigorous selection process’ for volunteer youth corps

SINGAPORE — The 200 youths chosen for the new volunteer youth corps would have been put through a “rigorous selection process”, aimed at ensuring “diversity” and to determine their “commitment” to serve the community,” said Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong in Parliament today (March 12).

SINGAPORE — The 200 youths chosen for the new volunteer youth corps would have been put through a “rigorous selection process”, aimed at ensuring “diversity” and to determine their “commitment” to serve the community,” said Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong in Parliament today (March 12).

He added that the pilot intake in June will be drawn from all tertiary institutions, including those studying in the Institute of Technical Education, polytechnics and universities, among others.

“We are not looking at academic qualifications. We are looking for youths with strong leadership qualities, a commitment to serve the community, and a desire to learn,” said Mr Wong, as he responded to calls from Members of Parliament (MPs) for the Government to do more to expand opportunities for youths to contribute to society.

The one-year national-level programme, the first of its kind, was first mooted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Rally Speech last year, and applications opened last month.

It will comprise a “structured” resident training programme that will equip the youths with knowledge and skills in leadership, project management and service learning. Local and regional community programmes in partnership with existing non-government organisations would also be included. Further applications can be made later this year after the programme’s pilot run.

“This first run will enable us to improve the design of the programme, and fine-tune the working protocols with different partners,” Mr Wong said.

Several MPs also called on the ministry to strengthen its community dispute resolution framework, by making mediation mandatory for “deadlocked disputes” and setting up a tribunal to oversee such cases, for instance. A public consultation on the framework is underway.

MP Tin Pei Ling (Marine Parade) asked if neutral parties could apply for mediation if the parties involved refused to take part in the process. In response, Mr Wong said the suggestion could be discussed in the ongoing public consultation, but he stressed that the parties involved should also take “personal ownership” in such disputes.

 

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