New scheme aims to recruit and develop more social service leaders

SINGAPORE - The National Council of Social Service (NCSS) will introduce a new career scheme that will see it recruit, develop and deploy social service professionals to take on leadership positions within social service organisations.

The new scheme, called "Sun Ray" is aimed at growing a pool of high-calibre leaders who would illuminate the way for others to follow, and bring warmth and hope to clients of the social service organisations. It will also address the challenge of attracting, retaining and developing quality manpower in the social service sector.

Currently, 13 individuals are already on the scheme, and NCSS aims to place at least 200 people on the scheme in the next five years.

Sun Ray will incentivise talented and passionate individuals to join the sector by offering those on the scheme a more varied job scope and better career development.

NCSS will plan and manage the career pathways for those on Sun Ray, and rotate them across different social service organisations and government agencies to gain exposure and experience after two to five years.

Training programmes in areas such as leadership skills and social governance will help individuals acquire the necessary skill sets and knowledge for career advancement, and they will also take on inter-agency sectoral projects to enrich their portfolio.

The scheme also provides flexibility with two career tracks. The organisational leadership track is for those aspiring to head social service organisations, while the professional leadership track provides for those who wish to take leadership roles in specialised areas, such as social work, therapy or early childhood intervention.

Mr Fermin Diez, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Group Director, Human Capital Development, NCSS said: "Former social service professionals who have experience of the sector coupled with the passion to serve our vulnerable populations are very valuable to us. They could have left us because of the lack of a structured career pathway.

"Sun Ray, by offering a well-articulated career progression pathway, addresses these concerns and at the same time, offers them better career prospects than before."

11 social service organisations have come onboard the scheme.

Mr Samuel Ng, Montfort Care's Chief Executive Officer, one of the organisations on the scheme, said: "I hope that Sun Ray could transform the social sector from one that faces a talent drought, to one that attracts talent by the droves."