Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong asked the Minister for Social and Family Development what is being done to encourage more people to join the social service and disability care sector.
Mr Masagos Zulkifli B M M: The National Council of Social Service (NCSS) works closely with Social Service Agencies (SSAs) to develop strategies and initiatives to attract manpower for the social service sector, which includes disability care.
The Professional Capability Grant (PCG) provides funding to SSAs to attract, develop and retain professionals in the sector. Under the PCG, Scholarships and Awards support new entrants pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies. For mid-career professionals, Career Conversion Programmes enable individuals from other sectors to enter the social service sector as social workers and allied health professionals. Over the past five years, 349 individuals have been supported by these schemes under the PCG.
NCSS is also promoting the branding and improving the visibility and value proposition of the social service sector. NCSS has rebranded careers in the social service sector. This has increased public awareness and interest in social service careers, communicated the purpose and values of careers in the sector, and shared career opportunities and pathways. In addition, NCSS has ongoing partnerships with Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to support job seekers through career advisory and job matching.
To support the professional development and career progression of social service professionals, we work with WSG and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), industry associations, training providers and organisations, to jointly develop the Skills Framework for Social Service. This provides information on the social service sector, the career and progression pathways, the competencies required for different job roles, and training programmes to support skills upgrading and mastery. NCSS also publishes the sector salary guidelines for the social service sector and SSAs are strongly encouraged to keep their salaries competitive.
Since 2019, MSF and NCSS have been working with representatives from the sector, professional associations, and education institutions through the Social Service SkillsFuture Tripartite Taskforce (STT). The STT aims to drive collaborations to develop manpower in the sector, and provide expertise in curriculum, training pathways and professional practice. In particular, for disability care staff, the STT is developing a competency framework and training roadmap by March 2024 to better equip them with the skills required for their roles.
Additionally, MSF and NCSS curate schemes and initiatives under the Community Capability Trust which SSAs can tap to strengthen their people practices and capabilities.
Ministry of Social and Family Development
12 September 2022