Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

CDCs’ new role — helping S’poreans gear up for future economy: PM

SINGAPORE — As Singapore’s economy continues its restructuring, helping the Government with the “urgent” task of convincing workers to continually upgrade their skills is something Community Development Councils (CDCs) can do, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

CDCs’ new role — helping S’poreans gear up for future economy: PM

Newly sworn-in Mayors Maliki Osman, Desmond Choo, Denise Phua, Teo Ho Pin and Low Yen Ling pose for a photo with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on May 24, 2017. Photo: Jason Quah/TODAY

SINGAPORE — As Singapore’s economy continues its restructuring, helping the Government with the “urgent” task of convincing workers to continually upgrade their skills is something Community Development Councils (CDCs) can do, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

He noted that while the Government has rolled out initiatives and schemes under the SkillsFuture movement to support skills upgrading, these alone are not enough, since “for many people, it is also a mindset change”.

As a bridge between the Government and residents, CDCs can step in to support the Future Economy Council, by encouraging residents to adapt to changes in the economy and adopt lifelong learning “as a cause”, Mr Lee said.

This would help open up employment prospects, he added.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony for the CDC mayors at the People’s Association on Wednesday, Mr Lee said the core mission of CDCs — to help the needy, bond people, and connect the community — continues to be relevant. 

Apart from being “hands and legs on the ground” to implement programmes, the CDCs also have to be the eyes and ears in identifying emerging needs in the current social and employment assistance systems, he noted.

“And you need to be hearts and minds to come up with new ideas for tackling these issues and addressing residents’ concerns,” said Mr Lee. 

Highlighting the SGSecure movement to ready Singaporeans for a terror threat as another priority area, the Prime Minister said that the community must rally together during crises and citizens have to help one another.

“We are strong only if our ties are close and people trust one another, despite having different backgrounds, or belonging to different ethnic groups or different faiths,” Mr Lee said. 

He added that rapport is also needed between the community and public institutions, such as the Home Team and the People’s Association grassroots organisations. 

SGSecure seeks to do this, and the CDCs will need to collaborate with OnePeople.SG, government agencies, grassroots organisations, community and corporate partners for this to happen. 

“It is patient work which will take years, but it will pay off handsomely if ever we experience a terrorist attack like ... in Manchester, or a civil emergency,” said Mr Lee, referring to the suicide bombing incident in Manchester Arena earlier this week which left 22 dead.

By involving volunteers in meaningful projects, the CDCs would be able to strengthen the “gotong royong” or kampung spirit, and grow a team of active volunteers, he added.

Speaking to reporters at the ceremony on Wednesday, Dr Maliki Osman, Mayor of the South East District, pointed out that the challenge with the SGSecure movement was to ensure everybody took ownership. 

He noted, however, that the message was “trickling down”.

Chairperson of the Mayors’ Committee and Mayor (South West District) Low Yen Ling added that dialogue and programmes will be stepped up to promote mutual understanding across different religions. 

“In today’s volatile world, we aspire for CDCs to be the anchor in the community, so to this end, we’ll reinforce our efforts to strengthen community resilience and also strengthen the nation’s social cohesion ... fostering interracial, interfaith and interreligious harmony,” said Ms Low, who is Senior Parliamentary Secretary in the Trade and Industry and Education ministries.

In the area of worker upgrading, the CDCs aim to be the “first point in the heartlands” for Singaporeans to upgrade themselves through SkillsFuture, said Ms Low. Plans are in the pipeline to work closely with SkillsFuture Singapore, Workforce Singapore and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to identify the right training programmes and right skills for residents to be employable.

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa