The government understands the concerns of all Singaporeans and it will do what it can to continue to support its citizens, including young graduates entering the workforce. That was the underlying message from Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, when he graced the plaque presentation ceremony for graduates from the Sikh community on 21 September 2013.

Speaking to the graduates, he stated that, “There are naturally concerns at the back of your mind, including finding a rewarding job and, subsequently, developing a fulfilling career. Others may also be looking to start a family and juggle with managing the cost of living, housing and healthcare issues, both for themselves and their families. The government understands this and wants to help all Singaporeans achieve these goals. We also understand the challenges that sometimes come with attaining such aspirations and we have, therefore, introduced new measures to support a young generation coming into the workforce.” Making reference to the Prime Minister’s National Day Rally, Mr Masagos touched on the government’s efforts in the areas of affordable housing, extensive medical coverage for Singaporeans, focus on holistic education and ensuring employment for all.

Mr Masagos also called on the graduates to contribute in their own ways to their community and the larger society. He stated, “We ask for you to work towards being proactive within your neighbourhood, your community and the larger society as a whole. and look for opportunities to share what you know and give back where you can. It is only in all of us doing our bit and our path can we rise to achieve greater things for us and the next generation to come.”

Mr Masagos presented plaques to 29 young Sikhs who recently graduated from local and overseas tertiary institutions. Close to 100 guests, including leaders of the Sikh community, parents and families of the recipients, attended the ceremony.

During her presentation, Ms Rosvinder Kaur Sahota, a recipient of a Master in Education (Curriculum and Teaching) from Nanyang Technological University in 2012, shared her educational sojourn. She stated, “After my college education, I was fortunate to be able to try out teaching first hand and I enjoyed it. I liked the fact that teaching was impactful and meaningful. My advice to all graduates is to go for internships and talk to others in different professions as they will be able to guide you to make well-informed decisions. Whatever you do, make sure that you decide what’s best for yourself and you know that best.”

For the first time this year, in addition to the plaque presentation ceremony, there was a presentation on best practices in talent management, an issue of great relevance to the young graduates as well as those in the marketplace. The session was conducted by Mr Kulwant Bardh whose core expertise is in talent management which ranges from selection tools for the right hire, leadership assessment for promotion or succession management to developing leaders and executive coaching.

Organised by YSA and the Sikh Centre, Singapore, the presentation ceremony was aimed at recognising the academic achievements of Sikhs, including those who pursue post-graduate studies and continuous learning. It was also an important platform to engage Sikh graduates and to impress upon them the need for them, as intellectuals, to contribute to the Sikh community and Singapore society. It was also an opportunity for them to develop networks with their fellow graduates.

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