Smooth Transition: Resources for NSFs Returning to Civilian Life
Transitioning back to civilian life and entering the next phase of adulthood can be a challenge, but fortunately, there are resources available to help national servicemen (NSFs) in Singapore make a smooth transition. National Service (NS) is not only about fulfilling the duty of defending the country but also preparing NSFs for employment and further studies.
Multiple surveys conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies show that a majority of respondents consider NS an important source of learning for future employment. In response to a commentary published in The Straits Times, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) expressed their commitment to supporting post-NS transitions. This means that NSFs have access to resources that can help them prepare for employment and further studies while undergoing their training.
To support self-advancement, Mindef and the SAF have been providing funding for NSFs’ upskilling and refresher courses since 2003. In partnership with NTUC LearningHub and NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute, they have further enhanced this support. Previously, NSFs were given $350 worth of credits for courses in their last 12 months of full-time NS, which could be used up to one year after their Operationally Ready Date (ORD). Under the new scheme, NSFs are provided with a free subscription to the SkillsFuture@NS Learning e-learning platform, giving them access to over 75,000 courses for two years.
In addition to upskilling, the SAF has collaborated with SkillsFuture Singapore to accredit certifiable skills acquired during NS. This includes leadership, technical, and specialist skills, which can be recognized under the Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) system. For example, a Naval Officer can receive a WSQ Advance (Level 3) Certificate in Leadership and People Management upon graduating from the Officer Cadet School.
Mindef’s Work-Learn Schemes also allow NSFs to earn academic credits that count toward diplomas or degrees while serving. This provides an opportunity for NSFs who wish to extend their service to balance their studies with their NS commitments.
NSFs themselves have expressed the benefits they gained from their NS experience. Many cite the development of leadership skills, mental resilience, and the overcoming of personal fears as valuable lessons that have prepared them for future endeavors. Some have even been inspired to pursue careers directly related to their NS vocations.
Overall, it is evident that NSFs have access to an array of resources that can aid in a smooth transition back to civilian life. These resources provide opportunities for upskilling, academic advancement, and personal development, ensuring that NSFs are well-equipped to face the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
(Note: This article is generated based on the provided guidelines and does not indicate completion or adherence to any specific requirements.)