Singapore's defence and security is a responsibility shouldered by national servicemen, who form the backbone of the SAF. To show appreciation towards our national servicemen, MINDEF will seek to enhance their national service experience by reducing administrative burdens, and also maximise their potential and abilities so they may contribute meaningfully.
The new NS Hub will bring greater convenience to the NS community by acting as a one-stop centre for all NS-related services. The NS community will be able to easily access different Ministry of Defence resources at the NS Hub, from the pre-enlistee undergoing pre-enlistment process for NS, to a Full-time National Serviceman (NSF) attending a medical review and even for an Operationally Ready National Serviceman (NSman) taking his Individual Physical Proficiency Test. The NS Hub is expected to be completed by 2023.
- One-Stop Service Centre – The NS Hub will see a co-location of related services for the NS community, such as Central Manpower Base, Medical Centres, Fitness Conditioning Centre and e-Mart, to better serve their needs.
- Enhanced Experience – The NS Hub will leverage technology for a seamless, user-friendly experience. Technologies such as facial recognition, automation and analytics will be used to enhance the visitors' journey.
- Accessibility – There will be improved accessibility to the future NS Hub via public transport, including direct access from Cashew MRT Station, drop-off and pick-up area, and on-premise parking.
SkillsFuture@NS is part of MINDEF/SAF's continuing efforts to recognise our full-time national servicemen's contributions to defence by supporting their lifelong learning journey, and promoting skills upgrading, career discovery and workforce readiness for NSFs as they transition to studies or work after they complete their full-time NS. This builds on existing efforts such as the accreditation of NS skills and competencies under the Workforce Skills Qualifications framework, and the Enhanced Career and Education Fair for NSFs who are about to complete their full-time NS.
Under SkillsFuture@NS, MINDEF/SAF is working with public and private sector partners to introduce the following initiatives in mid-2019:
- Extend NSFs' Electronic Pre-Release Employment Programme (E-PREP) credits1 of $350 to about 3,000 selected courses, including SkillsFuture Series courses that focus on priority skillsets such as data analytics and cybersecurity, as well as a wide range of Massive Open Online Courses offered by training providers such as Udemy, which provides SkillsFuture Credit-eligible courses. These expanded offerings will help NSFs refresh, update or acquire new skills that aid their transition to further studies or to join the workforce.
- Work with Institutes of Higher Learning on modular courses for E-PREP that will grant NSFs credit exemptions for higher education programmes after their ORD. For example, NSFs can use their e-credits to take up a course on ‘Introduction to Cloud Architecture', or ‘Smart Sensors and Devices', offered by Temasek Polytechnic (TP). Upon admission to TP's related part-time Specialist Diplomas, participants who complete these online courses will be granted partial exemption from one module.
- Provide a career orientation experience for NSFs near their ORD through the conduct of customised SkillsFuture Advice workshops. This will be conducted at the Enhanced Career and Education Fair (ECEF), in partnership with SkillsFuture Singapore, the five Community Development Councils and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), to aid and prepare NSFs in their transition to the workplace after full-time NS. Trial workshop sessions were conducted with the Basic Military Training Centre and 30th Battalion, Singapore Combat Engineers in January 2019, and a pilot with NSFs attending the ECEF will be conducted in March 2019.
Removal of MINDEF Notification Centre Requirements
MINDEF and the Ministry of Home Affairs regularly review our exit control policies, taking into consideration the need to maintain the operational readiness of the SAF, the Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force. From 1 March 2019, NSmen will no longer need to notify the MINDEF Notification Centre (MNC) or Home Team Overseas Notification Centre of their overseas travel and contact information before leaving Singapore for less than six months. Removing this notification requirement will not compromise operational readiness as there are other exit measures in place.
Other exit control measures that will continue to apply are:
- NSmen are still required to apply for Exit Permit before travelling overseas for six months or longer.
- NSmen on operational and mobilisation manning are still required to seek permission from the units before travelling overseas.
- NSmen are still required to update changes to their contact number on NS Portal (including temporary changes to contact information during overseas travel) that will allow them to be contacted by their unit.
A new initiative called NS Memories is being trialled as part of MINDEF/SAF's effort to strengthen engagement and promote support for NS. NS Memories will be a digital platform that contains the following features:
- National servicemen will be given access to non-sensitive, individually tagged photographs of themselves and their fellow servicemen that catalogue their experiences throughout their NS journey, from full-time NS to ORNS. These photographs may include their training, cohesion activities, and other memorable events.
- National servicemen will be able to view, download and share these photographs on their personal social media platforms.
MINDEF is exploring suitable online platforms to host NS Memories, and will assess the development of features and functions based on feedback from the trial participants. The trial is expected to begin in mid-2019 and will run for three months.
1 Currently, NSFs can use their credits to subscribe to about 200 online courses offered by our local universities and polytechnics. These E-PREP credits are valid up to one year after NSFs complete full-time NS. NSFs can apply for E-PREP courses on the NS portal.