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Career mentors to help youths boost job prospects

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  • Queen of sgForums
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    • To boost job prospects for fresh graduates and young professionals, managers and executives (PMEs), a mentorship programme has been launched to help them gain tips to navigate the job market.

      Called Todo Todo, this is part of a joint initiative by the People’s Association (PA) and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

      Young Singaporeans aged between 18 and 35 who sign up online (www.todotodo.sg) will be matched with a volunteer career guide from their preferred industry over a four month period.

      Recruited from the NTUC’s and PA’s community network, these career guides comprise young PMEs with at least five years of working experience.

      It is hoped that the guides, being able to empathise with the concerns and aspirations of young job seekers, can help the youths tap their industry expertise to be better equipped with the skills and knowledge needed as they embark on their careers.

      About 100 guides have come on board so far, in sectors such as information technology, banking and finance and education.

      Youths can also get connected to a network of industry professionals and businesses, join workshops and talks and source for volunteer projects using Todo Todo.

      Speaking to reporters on Sunday (April 30) on the sidelines of the launch at Our Tampines Hub, NTUC Youth Development Unit director Desmond Choo, said the scheme would give youths more learning opportunities, networking and targeted help in their career advancement plans.

      “With the career guides (working) in the industry, our youths will have up-to-date information on where the (growing) industries are, how to prepare themselves in advance and, quite importantly, for those who don’t have a network of business contacts, we bring in a ready-made network,” he said.

      He added that the initiative can complement the efforts of schools and create a “broader network” for youths looking to gain access to people beyond school alumni.

      He hopes to reach out to 10,000 youths and scale the initiative to nine more Group Representation Constituencies over the next few years.

      Among the career advisers is Mr Alvin Yeo, 32, a Bedok View Secondary School teacher who is enthusiastic about sharing his skills in the education field and in events management.

      He has mentored youths under his charge as a young grassroots leader and said the scheme will provide a more formal platform to promote a “culture of sharing” and help them discover their aspirations.

      Institute of Technical Education facility management lecturer Azri Zulfarhan Kamsin, 30, also wants to put his varied job experiences to good use, having previously worked in the marine sector and in engineering.

      Recalling his own uncertainty when starting his career, he said this would give him a chance to share about his journey and guide youths, for example by reminding them to keep an open mind.

      “It’s about what experiences they learn on the job, be it practical or people skills,” he said.

      One of the youth participants, Temasek Polytechnic Year 3 student Liu Tze Hui, 19, who is studying logistics and operations management, found the industry knowledge from her mentor useful.

      “Procedures are set out for us to follow, but (I) learnt that we have to be flexible to change to make (processes) more efficient,” she said.

      Fellow Year 3 student Rayen Tan, 20, who is doing a diploma in pharmaceutical science, also felt the scheme would give him more exposure and help him branch into various areas in the healthcare sector, like research and manufacturing.

      He said this was better than being “spoon-fed” by his polytechnic for internships and career guidance: “We should also use our own initiative ... (in looking out) for new job experiences, and gain more connections and understanding of what different companies (require).”



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