Up to 90% of jobs are found through friends, relatives and direct application, as research shows. It goes to show that networking matters!
Of course, there are many ways to network, including meeting your former school mates through your school alumni network.
But in today’s context of a slowing economy, many working professionals, seem to find it difficult to land themselves jobs. Hence, tapping on a good network is essential.
So to remain relevant to the young workers of today and the future, the labour movement in 2011 launched the U Associate Programme as a key strategic effort to engage professional associations and support more PMEs (Professionals, Manager and Executives).
PME numbers today stand at more than half the workforce. By 2030, it will be more than two-thirds.
Currently, the NTUC has 31 U Associate partners from various industries and sectors, and it is still growing.
What it aims to do is to allow PMEs within the sectors to tap on the NTUC’s growing network of unions, partners for opportunities for work.
According to the NTUC, the U Associate is a programme which allows for “greater growth, forge stronger relationships and open up new opportunities”.
The U Associate programme also has 5 skills development programme which focus on skills progression to prepare workers to be future-ready.
Surely with these alliances, there would be more opportunities and doors opened up for both the associations and PMEs.
Beyond that, the NTUC is also growing its network to reach other workers such as freelancers and self-employed, and SME (Small, Medium Enterprises) workers as well.
In a recent blogpost, labour chief Chan Chun Sing said that while union membership is important, “it may be less relevant to workers who frequently change jobs; workers in SMEs who are hard to unionise and even contract workers or freelancers.”
Indeed, this may not be what traditional union movements do in other nations. But he says the NTUC prides itself on being “the Unusual Labour Movement – one which tries out new business models and new product offerings in order to remain relevant.”