The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) are partnering with NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB) and NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to better support Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) in their post-National Service (NS) transition to pursue employment or further studies. As part of this partnership, NTUC LHUB will (i) organise quarterly SkillsFuture@NS career and education fairs (SF@NS Fair) for NSFs in their last three to six months of full-time NS; and (ii) provide NSFs with access to a new SkillsFuture@NS Learning eXperience Platform (SF@NS LXP), which will replace the existing Electronic Pre-Release Employment Programme (E-PREP).
Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How and Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim visited the SF@NS Fair this afternoon. During their visit, they were briefed on the features of the new SF@NS LXP, which will provide NSFs with unlimited access to over 75,000 online courses – a much wider range of courses than the 3,000 provided under the current E-PREP – as well as a personalised learning experience with individualised course recommendations.
Mr Heng and A/P Faishal also interacted with participants at the "Network to Success" workshop conducted by NTUC's e2i. This workshop is part of the newly introduced Employability Resilience series, which aims to equip post-NS entrants to the workforce with practical career skills, such as résumé writing, networking and workplace communication. More than 50 exhibitors from key economic sectors and about 20 Education Institutes were also present at the fair to offer post-NS employment and education opportunities to NSF attendees.
Speaking to the media at the visit, Mr Heng underscored the importance of supporting NSFs in their transition to school or the workplace. He said, "The enhancements are an elaboration of our commitment to recognise the contributions of our national servicemen. This collaboration and partnership between MINDEF, MHA and NTUC LHUB is something that is long-lasting and value-adding. What we are trying to do is to create a platform that will be able to service and support all of our NSFs. It can potentially be of great value to all our servicemen on a lifelong-basis in the areas of skills-upgrading, understanding the job market, seeking for work and training. MINDEF/SAF, and I also speak on behalf of the Home Team, takes the contributions and the sacrifices made by our national servicemen very seriously. We fully appreciate and want to recognise that."
A/P Muhammad Faishal said, "We are thankful for the contributions of our NSFs and NSmen, both for MINDEF and MHA. This is something we continually look for, as to how they can prepare for their working life as well as continuing their education. This year, we are happy to be able to organise a physical fair. I am very appreciative of the support from the employers and education institutions, for coming forward and sharing with our NSFs, providing an opportunity for our NSFs to see how they can transit after their NS life, and at the same time, able to upskill while they are doing their NS. The enhanced SkillsFuture@NS Learning eXperience Platform will enable them to access more than 75,000 online courses, allowing them to build their skills, interests and knowledge while doing their NS."
About 4,000 NSFs from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and Singapore Police Force (SPF) attended the SF@NS fair, which was held at the Devan Nair Institute on 20 and 21 Sep 2022. Mr Heng and A/P Faishal were accompanied by MINDEF's Deputy Secretary for Administration Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer of NTUC LHUB Mr Jeremy Ong and Chief Executive Officer of e2i Ms Caryn Lim and senior officials from MINDEF/SAF and MHA.
The SF@NS Fair was previously known as the Enhanced Career and Education Fair.
Under the E-PREP, NSFs could use $350 worth of credits for a range of refresher and/or skills development courses provided by Institutes of Higher Learning and Education Institutes, to facilitate their transition from full-time NS to further studies or into the workforce.
Singapore's key economic sectors include manufacturing, electronics, precision engineering, and logistic and supply chain management.