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Employment Help for At-Risk Youths

Youths-at-risk will receive the opportunity of an alternative pathway to success, thanks to the Youth Employment System (YES), a pilot national employment framework launched by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

The YES programme aims to benefit at-risk youths to help them secure employment. Aged below 21 years, these youths — who are not schooling, working or in training — will receive training, apprenticeship, career coaching and employment opportunities.

MSF has been seeking proposals to operate the system through a tender, and the successful bidder will be required to build up a network of employers who are ready to hire the youths. Employers will select workplace mentors to supervise the youths’ work and performance and work closely with career coaches for follow-up support. These coaches are also part of the staff recruited to run the one-stop resource centre which provides youth-centric YES services.

With Denmark’s Youth Guidance Centres and the United States’ Job Corps cited as examples, MSF said that training and employment could be a ‘key tool of engagement’ for at-risk youths. It further added that being employed is not the sole desired outcome, and that the youth should concurrently develop positive life skills and values and become self-motivated and independent individuals.

While school drop-out rates in Singapore have decreased over the years, MSF noted there is still a minority of youths who do drop out of school. If left unguided, they run "the risk of entering a path of disengagement and delinquency", the ministry stated in its tender documents.

The provider to operate the YES programme is expected to be appointed in March 2013.

In support of igniting hope to the lives of the community including youths-at-risk, Tote Board is privileged to co-fund the YES programme, together with MSF.