What do you need to know about Green Transition?

In an engagement session held by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) earlier this week, more than 70 participants came together to discuss the aspirations and concerns of workers in companies embarking on their green transition journey, as part of the #EveryWorkerMatters Campaign. 

The participants included business leaders in sustainability, workers, representatives from the unions, essential services, government agencies and economic researchers. 

Green transition means that you can look forward to many new professions 

Companies acknowledged that green transition was a critical step that businesses needed to take to stay relevant – those who do not take this step can risk going out of business. This can open doors for new professions and sectors. 

New jobs, new sectors and professions – how ready are our workers to take on these new roles? 

On how to prepare workers, participants spoke about how NTUC’s Company Training Committees (CTC) initiatives can support job redesigning by identifying useful training and build confidence in the workforce to embrace and accelerate the transformation. 

On top of that, many highlighted the importance of tying training to practical work tasks, and the importance of the role of a union leader in assessing the workforce readiness. 

On the flipside, companies also highlighted various concerns on the transition, 

  • Over having sufficient covering manpower as workers leave for training
  • The need for protected time off and minimal standards for training in “green skills”
  • Whether or not new tasks and roles should lead to gains in salaries and brighter career prospects
  • Strengthening vocational training so that technically trained youths move into green roles instead of platform work 
  • Older and less tech-savvy workers might be left behind if employers do not wish to invest in training because of the “limited runway” perception 


We should be partnering with workers through this Green Transition Journey as companies transform 

NTUC aims to ensure a fair transition for workers by working with tripartite partners to safeguard and create quality jobs so that workers can continue to thrive in this period of economic restructuring. 

Preparing for the workforce for green transition through CTC and OTR 

The CTC and OTR framework has been applied to a few companies as a result of partnerships between NTUC, unions and government agencies. One of the companies who have adopted the framework – the Public Utilities Board (PUB) shared that through the OTR, and NTUC Industry Training and Transformation Department (NTUC T&T), has managed to chart out a 10-year OTR, helped workers understand the importance of upskilling and reskilling and most importantly gathered feedback from the workers to understand the impact it would have on the ground. 

Ensuring a smooth and just transition 

A poll conducted during the dialogue among the participants revealed that 60% of the respondents were optimistic about the green transition, 28% unsure of what it’s about, and 11% who aren’t confident about the future. 

Addressing the participants, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng said, 

“Through the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations, we will continue to engage workers, employers, and experts in this field to understand what a refreshed compact around work looks like as Singapore greens. We want to aid workers and companies to transit as seamlessly as possible to the green economy, achieve inclusive growth, and manage the corresponding challenges collectively. NTUC will be looking to co-develop concrete ideas and ways in which our Company Training Committees can work with “Queen Bee” companies to help facilitate this green transition.”

NTUC launched the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations this year and aims to engage 20,000 workers.

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