5. Report of the Committee on the Future Economy – Helping Vulnerable Workers

by Patrick Liew on February 15, 2017

The government has done comparatively more for vulnerable workers than in many developed countries.

However, this is an issue that requires not just the government but key stakeholders from the people, private and public sectors to collaborate and co-create solutions to tackle this issue.

For example, many elderly workers, including PMETs with knowledge and skills that are irrelevant or soon to be irrelevant may be in self denial and may not be reaching out for help in re-skilling themselves.

Some of them may not have adequate level of self esteem to seek for support and assistance.

We should look at how to engage the support of grassroots organisations and targeted VWOs, or even help to set up such organisations to identify vulnerable workers.

Many of these workers may need personal counseling to help them develop self-efficacy, including courage, commitment and emotional competence to put the past behind them and pursue a new direction in their jobs and careers.

Just as importantly, they may also need career counsellors to help them map out their purposes, passions, performance levels, and priorities in the workplaces.

They may need expert help and supervision to identify and develop career possibilities that may fit their personalities and pursuits in the workplaces.

In addition, these workers may need personal coaching to help them ascertain relevant training courses and register for these courses.

They may even need personalised guidance and hand holding to help them participate in the course and persevere to complete all the necessary training programmes.

Meanwhile, employers should be encouraged, educated and empowered to help these workers move up the learning curve.

They should be incentivised especially during these challenging times to free up their workers to re-skill, retool and redesign themselves so as to enhance their commitments and contributions to the workplaces.

By building a learning country and a deep-seated culture for continuous improvements, we can continue to stay relevant and effective, and at the cutting edge of the new economy.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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