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Growing youth mentoring and volunteerism

Speech by Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth & Trade and Industry at National Mentoring Summit

Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and National Development, and Patron of Mentoring Alliance Singapore,
Mdm Rahayu Mahzam, Parliamentary Secretary for Health, and member of the Mentoring Alliance Singapore Advisory Council,
Mr Glenn Lim, Chairman of Mentoring Alliance Singapore (MASg),
Keynote Speakers and Panellists,
Mentoring Alliance Singapore Partners,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. A very good morning to all of you. It's really a pleasure to be here. I just wanted to say that we are all here today, because we deeply believe in mentoring.
  2. We believe in receiving mentorship, and we believe in giving mentorship. I personally have benefited a lot from receiving mentorship throughout the course of my educational journey, my professional journey in the public and private sectors, and even right now, when I’m serving in the public sector.
  3. Even now, I ask for coaching and for mentorship, to navigate these times. All of us have experienced mentorship in our lives through the course of our careers and experiences, as we reach out to different people and navigate the vagaries of life. I spent quite a lot of time in Jalan Kukoh, and I’ve seen our youth benefit from mentoring. They also come back to give mentoring to others.
  4. When you believe in mentoring, you go on to mentor others. It's a virtuous cycle and mentoring in itself is also a rewarding experience. You learn from mentoring others and bless yourself in the process.
  5. So the theme for today, the National Mentoring Summit 2021, is “The Future of Mentoring”. I want to evoke a little hashtag that our youth use. Most of you may know it - #fomo. And what does that mean? It’s the fear of missing out. To be a little bit cheeky, I wanted to talk about #fomo as ‘the future of mentoring objectives’, and the future of mentoring objective is that there is no need to fear missing out.
  6. We are currently in one of the biggest crisis of our generation, in terms of the health and jobs. Supercharged by the internet, social media and all that, there is a genuine fear of missing out. We’ve seen that in the lives and challenges that our youth face. But I want to encourage them, and encourage all of us here that there is no need to fear or to succumb to the fear of missing out.
  7. In the spirit of the SG Together, the antidote for the fear of missing out is working together. How are we doing this together? There are two things that I wanted to share with everyone today.
  8. The first is working together – the announcement of the Mentoring Alliance for Action (AfA). This is significant because in this SG Together spirit, we have established a variety of Alliances for Action across the industry. In one of the industries that I'm working in, it discusses safe opening, travel, tourism, and business experiences. They've come together with different stakeholders to help us determine and strategize how to open up safely.
  9. In the same vein, this Mentoring AfA seeks to achieve the same thing – to bring stakeholders together so nobody needs to fear missing out. We want to bring all our different stakeholders together because it's a complicated, dynamic environment. We need everybody to come together and pitch in – the people sector, the public sector and private sector. The AfA gives us structure and a clarion call, it gives us heft and a reason to come together to establish something that we can act on together. We're going to help to build a pool of volunteers, to increase the quality of mentoring and forge partnerships.
  10. The second announcement today, is SG Cares signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MASg. SG Cares signing this MoU will designate MASg as a key national intermediary to raise the pool of volunteers and mentors, to increase the standard of volunteering and mentorship, and to build capacity and capability.
  11. These two announcements demonstrate that we're not just talking, we’re acting. We have many different partners here together that can help us to achieve these objectives together. Today, we'll be hearing from Dr Jean Rhodes and Dr Thang Leng Leng, and we have many different ongoing activities to help put these building blocks together for us to achieve these objectives.
  12. Finally, in closing, I’m reminded today, that a few days ago we also remembered the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. And I recalled that his last official title was ‘Minister Mentor’. Even as we are here, we learn a lot from mentors that have come before us. We also develop capacities and capabilities to be mentors to others. We're welcoming and building the capabilities of next generation of mentors.
  13. In this vein, I also count SMS Sim Ann as one of my mentors along this journey with public service. You have in fact developed and helped to lay the foundation with Glenn and the team from the Mentoring Alliance Singapore. So, in addition to Patron of MASg, I will call her the ‘Mentoring Mentor’.
  14. What you have planted, we will build upon for succeeding generations to also build upon in this virtuous cycle of mentoring. Patron and Mentoring Mentor, I will hand over the mic to you later on. But I just wanted to wish everyone a good summit. Thank you for joining with us along this journey.
  15. Thank you very much.

Last updated on 29 March 2021