Annual Report 2016

Download the PDF

NTUC social ENTERPRISES

Annual Report 2016

Driving Business Goals | Impacting Lives

PASSION AND PURPOSE

 

Our cause is the people in Singapore – we exist to benefit them. Our purpose is to fulfill a genuine social need that is yet unmet, or under-served.

 

This is what NTUC Social Enterprises have been doing for more than 40 years, and this is what we will continue to do in the years to come.

 

In order to remain relevant to the people we serve, we will continually embrace change and innovation to better respond to the evolving needs of the people in Singapore.

Setting

the Tone

message BY MR LIM BOON HENG,

Chairman, NTUC ENTERPRISE

2016 was a year in flux. Globally, there was a pervasive sense of uncertainty and insecurity stemming from terrorism, growing populism, and slowing economies. Singapore experienced its share of flux, being an open economy interconnected with the rest of the world.

 

On the economic front, some sectors, such as the Offshore and Marine, declined -resulting in staggering losses of revenue and significant layoffs. Affected workers had to reskill or upskill themselves to be relevant enough to land new jobs in other sectors. However, it was not all gloom. There was sharp growth in other industries such as IT and FinTech, which caught the winds of change in this digital economy, rode them.

 

Against this backdrop, concerns about the cost of living, ageing, healthcare costs, and the fear of being left behind were common amongst the people in Singapore.

 

It was in such an environment that our NTUC Social Enterprises had to work in concert to address these four major concerns with practical solutions. And, it is also in such an environment that the NTUC Social Enterprises will need to leverage technological innovations to provide better and more relevant services and products to meet people’s needs.

 

 

Businesses impacting lives

 

In 2016, we continued to make our products and services affordable and more accessible to address concerns about the cost of living. We opened six no-frills FairPrice Shops to better meet the needs of Budget conscious customers living in mature HDB estates. The FairPrice Shops were so well received that we are opening six more in 2017. We have also been serving up affordable and quality food at our newly opened Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre. Having proved its mettle at managing hawker centres, NTUC Foodfare was appointed by the National Environment Agency to manage seven more hawker centres from July 2017. This will enable us to serve people in different parts in Singapore.

 

To address concerns about ageing and its attendant issues, we continued to give support and assurance to seniors to enable them to age-in-place. We expanded our senior care services to include nursing home care with the opening of our first, and long-awaited, nursing home in Jurong West. This year, we have opened two more nursing homes – in Chai Chee and Geylang East. With three nursing homes, we are now able to care for up to 900 seniors who require round-the-clock attention. We also opened eight senior-friendly NTUC FairPrice stores in estates with a higher number of elderly residents. Equipped with special features such as magnifying glasses to help seniors read product labels, and “call assist” buttons for them to buzz retail assistants for help when they need it, these stores give much-needed support to seniors as they carry out their everyday tasks independently. In addition, to give seniors peace of mind, we specially designed insurance plans to protect them against personal accidents, illnesses such as cancers, or age-related ailments.

 

We also launched the “Healthy Eating and Living Initiative” to incentivise people to live and eat healthily, e.g., we gave discounts and incentives, over a few months, to customers who opt for healthier food choices at NTUC FairPrice and NTUC Foodfare outlets.

 

To make sure that children of low income families are not left behind, we put in place programmes for pre-schoolers. The Child Support Model launched in My First Skool ensures that every child, regardless of his/her social, developmental or financial circumstances, will have a good start in life.

 

For working adults seeking to reskill and upskill themselves to remain employable, not necessarily in the same sectors they have been in, we offer relevant training courses at NTUC LearningHub

 

Beyond the new programmes that were launched last year, the ongoing work of all of our NTUC Social Enterprises, when viewed in its entirety, contributes towards building a more inclusive society as well as an environmentally-friendly world. In this regard, we are supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

 

Commitment to our Cause

 

Our NTUC Social Enterprises have done well in driving business goals and creating social impact.  But they are not immune to disruptions and challenges. To continue to remain relevant and effective, they will need to scale up, embrace change and innovation. They may need to disrupt themselves before they get disrupted.

 

Just as our flagship social enterprises, NTUC FairPrice and NTUC Income, have to continue to strive for success to maintain their dominant positions in the Singapore market, our smaller social enterprises will also need to do more and grow in their respective sectors such as pre-school education; continuous education and training; preparation and delivery of cooked food; chronic care; and eldercare.

 

 

Investing in people, invest in technology

 

At the same time, we will need to increase productivity and make wise investments in people and technology to grow our businesses for the long term. Some examples include investing in online systems and data analytics, building capabilities in these areas and more, and innovating on our service models to keep up with the changing habits and needs of our customers. Only when we get the equation right would we be able to outperform and continue to create social impact and providing members with a fair return in the long run.

 

 

Strong and continuing support

 

On behalf of the Board, I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to our shareholders for their strong support over the years. Their continuing trust in us demonstrates their understanding of our social enterprises’ objectives to create social outcomes through our thriving businesses. This bolsters our confidence to drive our businesses to be high-performing enterprises and create social impact to benefit one and all in Singapore.

 

By championing our work to do good to benefit people in Singapore, our shareholders are, in fact, also guarding the interest of the Labour Movement as well as protecting the interests of the customers, employees and the larger Singapore community.

 

 

Appreciation

 

I would like to thank the management and staff of NTUC Enterprise and our NTUC Social Enterprises for their hard work, commitment and dedication to our meaningful cause.

 

I would also like to express my deep appreciation for the counsel and guidance of my Board colleagues in steering the path of our group of NTUC Social Enterprises together in the past year.

 

Working together, we will be able to continue creating social impact for people in Singapore through our NTUC Social Enterprises for many more years to come.

 

 

Purpose of NTUC

Co-operatives/Social Enterprises

Why co-operatives were formed

The seeds of NTUC social enterprises were planted at the historic NTUC Modernisation Seminar in 1969 when Dr Goh Keng Swee, then the Finance Minister, urged NTUC to set up cooperatives for life insurance and essential consumer goods to meet the needs of workers.

Four Founding Principles

  1. NTUC co-operatives (social enterprises) must be fully competitive with private enterprise. They cannot expect any privileged treatment by the Government.
  2. The Labour Movement should engage the co-operatives (social enterprises) in those fields in which it has a natural built-in advantage.
  3. The highest standards of integrity must be established and maintained.
  4. NTUC co-operatives (social enterprises) must have effective management. Their staff should be recruited entirely on the basis of merit, and they should be given considerable scope to exercise initiative, judgement, and enterprise.

NTUC social enterprises were formed to keep essential goods and services affordable for union members and people in Singapore. Each social enterprise was set up to meet specific social needs. Over time, they grew and evolved to be relevant to the changing needs. In cases where the specific social needs they were set up to meet had been met or were better addressed by other organisations, they were closed.

HiStory of NTUC Social Enterprises

NTUC co-operatives are different from commercial companies

NTUC co-operatives are set-up to maximise benefits for members as well as the wider Singapore society. Unlike commercial companies, NTUC co-operatives do not seek to maximize profits to only enrich their shareholders.

Unions as shareholders of NTUC co-operatives

Since the set-up of the first NTUC co-operatives, there has been a strong sense of ownership among the Unions. Unionists raised capital to start the co-operatives, sold life insurance and even helped to pack rice at the first supermarkets. This spirit, together with the Labour Movement’s ability to obtain the support of capable persons in the public and private sectors, put NTUC co-operatives on the road to success.

 

As owners, Unions are stewards of NTUC co-operatives and have a huge responsibility. They share in the co-operatives’ objectives and are protective of them. They guard the interest of the Labour Movement and the interest of customers, employees and communities.  In this way, the Unions ensure that the NTUC co-operatives, built with the first generation Unionists’ hard-earned money and on their dreams and labour, can endure to the next generation in a better state than when they first began.

As NTUC social enterprises, we remain committed to our collective mission to meet the needs of people in Singapore so that they can live better and live more meaningfully.

 

In 2016, we continued to provide seamless and integrated services to meet the needs in areas of: Cost of Living, Ageing, Health and Social Mobility.

Impacting Lives

Cost of Living

We deliver affordable and best value-for-money products and services

  • FairPrice Shop meeting needs of budget-conscious shoppers
    FairPrice Shop meeting needs of budget-conscious shoppers
  • FairPrice Shop meeting needs of budget-conscious shoppers
    FairPrice Shop meeting needs of budget-conscious shoppers
    NTUC FairPrice opened FairPrice shops in mature HDB estates with higher concentrations of one- to three-room flats, such as Eunos Crescent and Circuit Road, to specially cater to budget-conscious customers as well as those from smaller households.

    These FairPrice Shops are unique because to their product mix: about half of the stores are stocked with house-brand items, Everyday Low Price and Yellow Dot items. These products give shoppers the most savings to help them stretch their dollar. FairPrice Shops also carry the exclusive range of produce, “Value Fresh”, to provide even greater savings for fresh produce.

    By the end of December 2016, there were already six FairPrice Shops in Singapore. Six more FairPrice Shops will be opened in 2017.
    Read More
  • Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre to offer affordable, tasty cooked food
    Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre to offer affordable, tasty cooked food
  • Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre to offer affordable, tasty cooked food
    Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre to offer affordable, tasty cooked food
    NTUC Foodfare opened Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre and Market to offer residents affordable, accessible and tasty cooked food to enable them to better manage the cost of living.

    NTUC Foodfare is able to do so by moderating the prices of food at the hawker centre. This practice safeguards customers against hawkers who might randomly and unreasonably raise prices of food such that affordability becomes an issue.

    In addition, a price cap is also imposed on two basic food meals per stall to ensure that all customers, including the price-conscious and low-income, have access to the range of food sold at the hawker centre.

    NTUC Foodfare’s track record of managing this hawker centre as well as the Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre was the reason it was appointed by the National Environment Agency to manage seven more hawker centres from July 2017.
    Read More

AGEING

We provide support and assurance for our seniors to age in place

  • Taking care of frail seniors
    Taking care of frail seniors
  • Taking care of frail seniors
    Taking care of frail seniors
    NTUC Health’s first nursing home was opened in Jurong West to provide quality and affordable care and rehabilitation to seniors, who are unable to receive 24/7 care in their own homes. This is yet another realisation of a dream of close to 20 years to provide good and affordable nursing home care to seniors so as to reduce the financial, emotional and psychological burden on their families, who might not qualify for subsidies.

    The nursing home uses equipment with advanced technology such as anti-gravity treadmill, weight-support system and wearable robotic walking device to help frail seniors increase the intensity of their therapy interventions safely, and aid them in their recovery.

    Two more nursing homes in Chai Chee and Geylang will be in operation by 2017 to serve more elderly in the area. At full capacity, all three nursing homes will be able to care for close to 900 seniors altogether.
    Read More
  • Enabling ambulant seniors to shop independently
    Enabling ambulant seniors to shop independently
  • Enabling ambulant seniors to shop independently
    Enabling ambulant seniors to shop independently
    NTUC FairPrice opened eight senior-friendly stores in areas where there are higher concentrations of elderly residents, such as Lengkok Bahru and Redhill. These stores incorporate the principles of universal design with special features and products to make the experience of grocery shopping more enjoyable for seniors, and support them as they carry out their everyday tasks independently.

    Elderly shoppers can also use the magnifying glasses at the aisles to help them read product labels with greater ease. They will also find it easier to reach for products as the shelves are customised to ideal heights. The stores also have wheelchair-friendly shopping trolleys available to allow wheelchair users to shop independently in the stores. To better meet the needs of elderly customers, they can use the call assist buttons located at the entrance and along the aisles to attract the attention of staff should they require assistance. The senior-friendly stores are stocked with a range of supplements, products with the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS), and assistive products such as walking aids to specially cater to the needs of seniors.

    The frontline staff at these stores have also received training to serve elderly customers better. The specially designed training programme – jointly developed by NTUC LearningHub, Centre for Seniors and the Dr Oon Chiew Seng Trust – equips staff with the skills and knowledge to better understand and anticipate the needs of elderly customers. They are now able to recognise senior-related ailments such as dementia, and be able to empathise with the difficulties that seniors may encounter, so that they can communicate better with them and respond better to their needs.
    Read More
  • Giving seniors peace of mind
    Giving seniors peace of mind
  • Giving seniors peace of mind
    Giving seniors peace of mind
    NTUC Income has also designed a special insurance plan, Silver Protect, just for seniors to give them peace of mind, and free them from unnecessary worries of hefty medical bills should they fall ill. The insurance policy covers early stage cancer, advanced stage cancer as well as accidental death, among other features up to a maximum age of 84. With this plan, seniors can have peace of mind that they need not have to worry about huge medical bills should cancer strike.
    Read More

Health

We encourage and enable people to live and eat healthily

  • Healthy Eating and Living Initiative
    Healthy Eating and Living Initiative
  • Healthy Eating and Living Initiative
    Healthy Eating and Living Initiative
    NTUC social enterprises came together to develop the “Healthy Eating and Living Initiative”, which was launched by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health, in June 2016. Under this initiative, the social enterprises made healthy food options more accessible and affordable for Singaporeans, so as to incentivise one and all to opt for healthier lifestyles. This initiative was carried out in partnership with the Health Promotion Board, in support of the Ministry of Health’s war on diabetes.

    For a six-month period, from June to December 2016, a series of various types of FairPrice Housebrand healthy cooking oils, which are certified with the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS), were offered at discounts of up to 15%. It also sold Housebrand whole grains at a 5% discount for three months from June to September.

    NTUC Foodfare pledged to have all its food stalls in its food courts and coffee shops use healthier cooking oil in about two to three years’ time. NTUC Foodfare also made 500-calorie meal options available at its food stalls as part of HPB’s Healthier Dining Programme, to encourage customers to make the choice of opting for lower calorie meals with greater ease. It also continued its practice of selling beverages with no sugar at a cheaper price than other ordinary beverages to further incentivise its customers to opt for the healthier choice.

    In line with NTUC Social Enterprises’ move to empower Singaporeans to choose healthier food options, NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool (MFS) produced a sticker booklet for the children its pre-school centres in 2016 to encourage the habit of choosing healthier food options from young. Children who consumed their share of fruit and vegetables daily were able to collect a booklet full of beautiful stickers. Most of MFS’ pre-school centres were already certified under HPB’s “Healthy Meals in Childcare Centre Programme”.
    Read More

Social Mobility

We empower people in Singapore to fulfil their fullest potential

  • Child Support Model
    Child Support Model
  • Child Support Model
    Child Support Model
    The Child Support Model in our My First Skool (MFS) pre-school centres aims to meet the social, developmental and financial needs of each child in a holistic and integrated manner.

    Meeting social and developmental needs
    Early intervention programmes are put in place to help children, who show signs of mild developmental delays, the space to learn age-appropriate language, literacy and social skills at their own pace. On top of government subsidies, MFS also provides additional subsidies to the childcare fees of children from low-income families. For example, a child from a family in dire financial straits may pay a little as just under $4 a month due to subsidies from NTUC First Campus’ Bright Horizons Fund. The Fund also pays for enrichment classes, birthday celebrations, field trips, school excursions, uniforms and school bags for children from low-income families, so that they will not be deprived and are able to enjoy as happy a childhood experience as their peers in the MFS centres.

    Meeting social and financial needs
    The Child Support Model also ensures that children from low-income families have priority placement at its centres. Child Enabling Executives (CEE) are also installed at MFS centres, with a higher number of children from low-income families, to monitor the well-being of these children. The CEEs work with community partners such as Family Service Centres and Social Service Offices to provide social support to vulnerable families. In addition, to aid parents in dealing with the ever increasing parenting challenges of modern-day, MFS has also introduced the “Parenting Years” series of workshops to equip parents with practical parenting skills.
    Find Out More
  • Share-A-Textbook
    Share-A-Textbook
  • Share-A-Textbook
    Share-A-Textbook
    Primary, Secondary, and pre-university students from under-privileged families receive practical help from NTUC FairPrice’s Share-A-Textbook programme. This revolutionary scheme started in 1983 has endured all these 34 years, and continues to enable countless students to save on textbook expenses as they advance through school.
    Find Out More
  • Income OrangeAid Future Development Programme
    Income OrangeAid Future Development Programme
  • Income OrangeAid Future Development Programme
    Income OrangeAid Future Development Programme
    Income OrangeAid Future Development Programme (FDP) aims to provide opportunities and empower youth in need to create a better future for themselves through education. Deserving students from disadvantaged circumstances studying in the Institute of Technical Education and polytechnics, who might otherwise have dropped out of school because of financial difficulties, can receive financial aid in the form of bursaries from FDP.

    The bursary, which pays for school fees and contributes towards their living expenses, also provides students with opportunities to learn about financial planning and management. In addition, the students on bursary are also offered career and personal development programmes, along with internships and contract positions, which aims to give them a foretaste of working life in not just a financial institution like Income but also in other NTUC social enterprises.

    A total of 1,000 bursaries amounting to $2.5 million have been committed for this programme over a three year period beginning from 2015.
    Find Out More
  • Continuous Education and Training
    Continuous Education and Training
  • Continuous Education and Training
    Continuous Education and Training
    Adults who are either working or unemployed can “upskill” or “reskill” at NTUC LearningHub. Since 2004, NTUC LearningHub has equipped more than 1.9 million adult learners with new and relevant skills, which enabled them to either find employment or make progress in their careers. More than 600 courses currently offered at NTUC LearningHub are SkillsFuture ready, and Singaporeans can use their SkillsFuture Credit on them.
    Find Out More

Numbers at a glance

Developing Sustainability

 

NTUC Social Enterprises support

the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

NTUC Social Enterprises support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We support, in particular, the following goals in our work within Singapore, and encourage you  to join us on our sustainable development journey.

INCLUSIVE SOCIETY

  • 1    No Poverty

    “… Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.”

     

    United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development

     

  • 2   Zero Hunger

    “A world with zero hunger can positively impact our economies, health, education, equality and social development. It’s a key piece of building a better future for everyone. Additionally, with hunger limiting human development, we will not be able to achieve the other sustainable development goals such as education, health and gender equality.”

     

    UN Sustainable Development

     

  • 3   Good Health and Well Being

    “Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development… However, many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues…”

     

    UN Sustainable Development

     

  • 4   Quality Education

    “Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development…”

     

    UN Sustainable Development

     

  • 8   Decent work and Economic Growth

    “…Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not harming the environment. Job opportunities and decent working conditions are also required for the whole working age population.”

     

    UN Sustainable Development

  • 9   Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    “…Inclusive and sustainable industrial development is the primary source of income generation, allows for rapid and sustained increases in living standards for all people, and provides the technological solutions to environmentally sound industrialization…”

     

    UN Sustainable Development

     

  • 10  Reduced Inequalities

    “…To reduce inequality, policies should be universal in principle paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations.”

     

    UN Sustainable Development

     

  • 17  Partnerships for the Goals

    “A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. These inclusive partnerships built upon principles and values, a shared vision, and shared goals that place people and the planet at the centre, are needed at the global, regional, national and local level.”

     

    UN Sustainable Development

     

Environmentally-friendly SOCIETY

  • 12  Responsible Production and Consumption

    “Sustainable consumption and production  aims at “doing more and better with less,” increasing net welfare gains from economic activities by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution along the whole lifecycle, while increasing quality of life… It involves engaging consumers through awareness-raising and education on sustainable consumption and lifestyles, providing consumers with adequate information through standards and labels and engaging in sustainable public procurement, among others.”

     

    United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development

     

  • 13  Climate Action

    “…climate change is a global challenge that does not respect national borders. Emissions anywhere affect people everywhere. It is an issue that requires solutions that need to be coordinated at the international level and it requires international cooperation to help developing countries move toward a low-carbon economy.”

     

    UN Sustainable Development

     

BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE SOCIETY WHERE NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND

NTUC Social Enterprises deliver an integrated suite of services to meet specific needs of people in Singapore at every stage of their life-cycle, namely, pre-schoolers; school-going children; working adults; and senior citizens, as well as the more general needs across the board.

 

BUILDING AN ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY SOCIETY

Of the NTUC Social Enterprises, NTUC FairPrice has been the most vigilant in contributing towards building an environmentally-friendly society through promoting responsible consumption and production by reducing food waste, and combating climate change by reducing carbon emissions.

Responsible Consumption and Production

In 2015, NTUC FairPrice launched the Foodwaste Framework to reduce food waste on three fronts – Processes, Public Education, and Partnerships. The Food Waste Index was developed as part of the framework to measure the annual total food waste against the total retail space of all NTUC FairPrice stores island-wide. The index is the first of its kind in Singapore. Since the start of the initiative, NTUC FairPrice has seen a 39% reduction in food waste from 11.9kg/sqm in 2014 to 6.3kg/sqm in 2016.

 

As part of its effort to reduce food waste, NTUC FairPrice also partners with Food from the Heart to donate unsold but still wholesome food to the needy.

 

In promoting responsible production, NTUC FairPrice carries only household paper products that have been eco-certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Singapore Green Label. A case in point was during the period of severe haze in Singapore in late 2015. NTUC FairPrice withdrew from its stores all paper products sourced from Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) immediately following notification from the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) that it had imposed a temporary restriction on the use of the “Singapore Green Label” certification for APP products.

 

This was a significant move as about 20% of the paper products carried in NTUC FairPrice stores were sourced from APP through a licensed distributor in Singapore. However, Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO of NTUC FairPrice, said that while the move to pull APP’s products off the shelves hurt NTUC FairPrice financially, to the tune of “millions”, he felt that it was the right and responsible thing to do as the action went beyond mere financial impact.

 

Climate Action

NTUC FairPrice launched the FairPrice Green Rewards scheme in 2007 to encourage shoppers to Bring-Your-Own-Bag to reduce the use of plastic bags. To incentivise customers, NTUC FairPrice introduced the token rebate to reward customers when they bring their own bags to pack their grocery purchases at NTUC FairPrice stores. The happy result was that in the past three years, this initiative contributed towards saving more than 10 million plastic bags each year.

 

In 2016, 19 of NTUC FairPrice’s stores were accorded with Green Mark award by Building Construction Authority (BCA) for being fitted with environmentally-friendly and sustainable features such as eco-friendly furniture laminates; integrated lighting management with auto-zonal lighting control and occupancy sensors; water efficient fittings; and CO2 refrigeration systems that reduce carbon emissions and conserve more energy.

 

Pre-Schoolers (Ages 0 – 6)

Providing quality education and reducing inequalities

All children can have a good start in life at My First Skool

 

All pre-school children have access to quality and affordable childhood education and development at My First Skool, so that they can all have a good start in life. NTUC First Campus’ Child Support Model aims to meet the social, developmental and financial needs of each child in a holistic and integrated manner.

 

To enable all children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have a pre-school education, NTUC First Campus’ Bright Horizons Fund provides financial assistance to families with needs. Child Enabling Executives are also employed in My First Skool centres with a higher number of children from low-income families to provide social support to vulnerable families and encourage these parents to allow their children to attend pre-school. NTUC First Campus will also continue to reserve at least 15% of enrolment places at My First Skool for children from less privileged families.

 

The Fund also subsidises the early intervention programmes for children with developmental delays to enable them to learn at their own pace. In 2016 alone, more than $1 million were disbursed to benefit 1,600 families.

 

Watch Video 1, Video 2

 

Insurance and savings scheme for pre-schoolers in need

 

To ensure that children at My First Skool from low-income families are not further disadvantaged when death or total and permanent disability occurs to his/her parent or guardian, who is the sole breadwinner, we have in place NTUC Income’s Income Family Micro-Insurance and Savings Scheme (IFMISS).

 

IFMISS offers a pay-out of $5,000 to help the family cope financially when the tragic event occurs, upon approval of the claim. NTUC Income also offers an additional pay-out (capped at $5,000) that matches the collective bank balances of the parent/guardian and his/her family unit.

 

This scheme dovetails the efforts by the Ministry of Education and schools to encourage children to save for a rainy day.

 

School-Going Students

(Pri.1 to tertiary-level)

Reducing inequalities

Share-A-Textbook to help all underprivileged students

 

Primary, Secondary, and pre-university students from under-privileged families receive practical help from NTUC FairPrice’s Share-A-Textbook programme. Since 1983, Share-A-Textbook programme has collected more than 4.7 million used textbooks, benefiting countless students as they were able to save on textbook expenses. A revolutionary scheme at the time when it first started, its relevance has endured all these 34 years. In 2016, Share-A-Textbook collected more than 400,000 used textbooks.

 

Beyond reducing inequalities among students, the Share-A-Textbook scheme also contributes towards a sustainable environment through the redistribution and recycling of textbooks to reduce waste.

 

In 2016, 130 members of the public participated in this meaningful project to help with the promotion, mass community collection, sorting and distribution of the textbooks. In addition, 170 community and supporting partners also supported this initiative by providing logistical support as well as volunteering their premises as distribution centres

 

 

Bursaries for deserving and disadvantaged ITE and Poly students

 

Deserving students from disadvantaged circumstances studying in the Institute of Technical Education and polytechnics, who might otherwise have dropped out of school because of financial difficulties, can receive financial aid in the form of bursaries from NTUC Income’s OrangeAid Future Development Programme (FDP). One thousand bursaries amounting to $2.5 million have been committed for this programme over a three year period beginning from 2015. The bursary, which pays for school fees and contributes towards their living expenses, also provides students with opportunities to learn financial literacy skills and receive career and personal guidance. The objective is to provide the youths in need with opportunities and empower them to create a better future for themselves through education.

 

 

Insurance and savings scheme for primary school children in need

 

Primary school students whose families receive financial assistance from the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme (MOE FAS) for Primary Schools will be covered under the Income Family Micro-Insurance and Savings Scheme (IFMISS).

 

In the unfortunate event of death or total and permanent disability (TPD) of a parent or guardian, IFMISS offers a pay-out of $5,000 to help the family cope financially during this difficult period, upon approval of the claim. NTUC Income also offers an additional pay-out (capped at $5,000) that matches the collective bank balances of the parent/guardian and his/her family unit. This scheme dovetails the efforts by the Ministry of Education and schools to encourage children to save for a rainy day.

 

Working Adults

Providing quality education, reducing inequalities, and offering decent work for economic growth

Skills training for career progression

 

NTUC LearningHub offers continuing education and training for workers in Singapore to reskill and upskill themselves for lifelong employability, career advancement and mobility, and salary increment.

 

From 2004 to end of 2016, NTUC LearningHub achieved more than 1.9 million training places. It offers an array of courses to meet the learning needs of different segments of workers in Singapore, ranging from blue-collar workers to PMEs, such as Infocomm Technology, Workplace Safety & Health, Security, Customer Service, Trades, Leadership, Communications and Design Thinking.

 

Working adults in Singapore can use their SkillsFuture Credits to acquire critical skills at NTUC LearningHub, which supports the SkillsFuture movement in Singapore.

 

 

Progressive Work Model for a clearer career pathway

 

NTUC SEs support the Progressive Wage Model (PWM), mooted by the Labour Movement, to provide a clear training and career progression pathway for their employees. Under the PWM, employees are able to upgrade their skills, achieve career advancement and wage progression that commensurate with their skills and responsibilities. The happy result is: motivated employees, increased productivity, and growth for the organisations.

 

NTUC First Campus is a case in point. It has put in place the PWM to enable pre-school teachers to enhance their skills and move up the career ladder to become supervisors and principals within its pre-school centres. NTUC FairPrice has also implemented the PWM to give its retail assistants and team leaders the opportunity to be trained systematically and equipped with the different skills sets to assume positions of higher responsibilities. NTUC Health, which has embarked on the PWM for its nurses and care-staff, and is now working towards the full implementation of the PWM, to enable staff to improve their skills and move progressively up the ladder in the eldercare sector.

 

 

Decent work for inclusive growth

 

NTUC FairPrice employs over 10,000 staff from all walks of life and across a wide age group of people. All employees are offered competitive remuneration and enjoy a host of benefits and welfare grants, such as flexible work arrangements, hardship and study grants. An inclusive employer, NTUC FairPrice works with SG Enable for the Train and Place Programme to employ over 50 persons with disabilities.

 

Senior Citizens

Promoting good health and well-being, reducing inequalities, and offering decent work for economic growth

Social health and well-being

 

NTUC Health understands the importance of enhancing the good health and well-being of seniors, to enable them to age-in-place.

 

Its Silver Circle Day and Senior Care Centres provide care management and support for seniors, who not only participate in social activities and exercises at the centres, but also benefit from the added services such as active rehabilitation, community nursing, and personalised dementia care. NTUC Health Silver Circle was recognised as having the Best Day Care Programme for the “most dynamic centre-based activities and programmes that improve wellbeing for older adults” at the 5th Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards 2017.

 

To ensure that seniors are well-engaged socially, NTUC Health Silver Circle also partners NTUC First Campus to deliver a structured inter-generational programme aimed at facilitating interaction between pre-schoolers and seniors. Seniors derive a stronger sense of purpose through shared activities where they mentor the children, while pre-schoolers, in turn, learn values of empathy and compassion, as well as respect for seniors.

 

To enable seniors to age-in-place as far as possible, NTUC Health’s Care@home service provides seniors with a comprehensive range of home care services such as companionship, personal hygiene, and respite care, amongst others, in their own homes. NTUC Health also runs nursing homes to meet the complex care needs of seniors who require round-the-clock assistance. Residents at the nursing homes with high rehabilitation potential receive more intensive therapy and support to enable them to regain better mobility and independence, so that they are able to return to the comfort of their own homes in due course.

 

 

Enabling active ageing in the community

 

Through its Cluster Support, NTUC Health has also been providing community-based care and support services for vulnerable seniors who have little or no family support within a HDB estate. The aim is to enhance their quality of life and ensure that they have the resources to live safely and independently at home, and in their preferred community for as long as possible.

 

Vulnerable seniors, who are ambulant and active, can access NTUC Health’s seven SilverACE Senior Activity Centres (SAC) located in mature HDB estates with a higher concentration of low-income neighbourhoods and rental blocks. Organised like a club-house, these drop-in centres enable seniors to remain engaged in the community as they can pass their time in the company of their peers and other volunteers over a game of chess, KTV sessions, or other communal activities.

 

The staff in the centres also regularly carry out home visits to members to monitor their well-being so as identify problems such as high-blood pressure and dementia among the seniors and refer them for treatment in a timely manner.

 

In 2016, NTUC Health opened SilverCOVE, its first Senior Wellness Centre, to engage active seniors living in serviced apartments at blocks 180A and 180B in Marsiling Road in community life so as to promote their good health and well-being.

 

 

Empowering seniors to live independent lives

 

NTUC FairPrice opened its elder-friendly stores to give a little help to independent seniors who want to age-in-place. Its eight senior-friendly stores are located in areas where there are higher concentrations of elderly residents, such as Lengkok Bahru and Redhill. These stores incorporate the principles of universal design with special features and products to make the experience of grocery shopping more enjoyable for seniors, and support them as they carry out their everyday tasks independently.

 

Elderly shoppers can also use the magnifying glasses at the aisles to help them read product labels with greater ease. They will also find it easier to reach for products as the shelves are customised to ideal heights. The stores also have wheelchair-friendly shopping trolleys available to allow wheelchair users to shop independently in the stores. To better meet the needs of elderly customers, they can use the call assist buttons located at the entrance and along the aisles to attract the attention of staff should they require assistance. The senior-friendly stores are stocked with a range of supplements, products with the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS), and assistive products such as walking aids to specially cater to the needs of seniors.

 

The frontline retail assistants at these stores have also received training to serve elderly customers better. The specially designed training programme – jointly developed by NTUC LearningHub, Centre for Seniors and the Dr Oon Chiew Seng Trust – equips staff with the skills and knowledge to better understand and anticipate the needs of elderly customers. They are now able to recognise senior-related ailments such as dementia, and be able to empathise with the difficulties that seniors may encounter, so that they can communicate better with them and respond better to their needs.

 

To help seniors cope better with the cost of living and to incentivise seniors to venture outside the confines of their own homes, NTUC FairPrice continues to offer 2% senior discount on Tuesdays, and 3% Pioneer Generation (PG) discounts on Mondays. The take-up has been so good and feedback from seniors so positive, that NTUC FairPrice has extended the PG discounts to another extra day in the week starting in 2017.

 

Beyond savings, members of the Pioneer Generation also enjoy the use of designated priority payment counters at all FairPrice supermarkets and hypermarkets island-wide, to give them greater ease when they shop.

 

 

Gainful employment for seniors

 

NTUC Social Enterprises support the government’s policy regarding employment of older workers so as to enable them to remain active and gainfully employed, as well as to continue to contribute to the economy and society.

 

A case in point is NTUC FairPrice, which employs older workers into its workforce, and customises the job according to their age and physical abilities. An example would be FairPrice Xtra hypermarket at Changi Business Park. Many of the older workers there do light work such as placing price tags on bananas after weighing them and transferring light boxes of fruits to lower shelves. At the same time, fitter younger workers are given the task of stacking heavier items such as drink packets and detergent bottles on the top shelves.

 

Currently, more than 50% of the workforce is over 50, and around 16% of the entire workforce is above 60 years of age. The percentage of older workers in its workforce is significantly higher than the national average.

 

 

Protection needs of seniors

 

To better meet the diverse and yet unserved needs of seniors as they age, NTUC Income offers specially designed insurance products and services that are affordable and relevant to them, namely, SilverCare to protect seniors against personal accidents; Silver Protect to protect against cancer; and Silver Secure to protect against old age-related ailments common amongst older persons.

 

In designing these plans, NTUC Income gave due consideration to the fact that some seniors might have pre-existing conditions, and recalibrated the underwriting requirements and set practical benchmarks to suit seniors, so that more of them can benefit from these protection plans.

 

For example, a person aged between 50 and 74 years old requires no medical check-up when signing up for Silver Protect. NTUC Income will insure this elderly person even if he/she has declared pre-existing conditions such as a higher body mass index, cholesterol level, and blood pressure, as long as these conditions are non-cancer related.

 

Meeting the Needs of People in Singapore across the Board

Improving lives holistically by tackling poverty; eradicating poverty; reducing inequalities; promoting good health and well-being; and implementing industry innovation and infrastructure

No poverty, zero hunger & reduced inequalities

 

NTUC Social Enterprises pay particular attention to the low-income and vulnerable in Singapore, who are susceptible to poverty. We contribute towards enabling the low-income group in Singapore to live better and more meaningful lives by addressing issues relating to cost of living, ageing, health and social mobility through the suite of integrated services provided by our group of social enterprises.

 

We make daily essentials and cooked food affordable and accessible to the low-income, as well as promote social mobility through our work in childhood development and education, and skills training for working adults.

 

 

Making Daily Essentials and Cooked Food Affordable and Accessible to the Low-Income

 

Cost-saving initiatives

NTUC FairPrice has in place cost-saving initiatives to cater to the needs of budget-conscious customers and low-income households such as FairPrice housebrand, Yellow Dot items and Everyday Low Price products. Housebrand items are produced by NTUC FairPrice itself and are, on average, 10% cheaper than comparable national brands. Items marked as Yellow Dot items, are basic items such as rice and frozen meat, which are prices at 20% to 25% cheaper than similar items in the same categories. There is also a basket of more than 1,000 Everyday Low Price items, which are priced lower or similar to other retailers. All items are price-checked daily and they range from toiletries to canned food.

 

No-frills shop

NTUC FairPrice started six FairPrice Shop outlets in 2016 as no-frills shops to cater to residents in mature housing estates with a higher concentration of low-income households, eg, Circuit Road and Eunos Crescent. Fifty per cent of FairPrice Shop is stocked with cost-saving items such as housebrand products, Yellow Dot items and Everyday Low Price items. FairPrice shop also exclusively carries Value Fresh, which is a new housebrand range of produce, comprising fresh vegetables, and priced at five to 10% lower than NTUC FairPrice’s existing range of housebrand produce, ‘Pasar’. To empower customers to stretch their hard-earned dollar, signs are also placed in the FairPrice Shop to recommend the shoppers the ways to save money from their purchases. By the end of 2017, the number of FairPrice Shop outlets will be expanded to 12 to be more accessible to more residents from low-income neighbourhoods.

 

Rice Garden stalls

NTUC Foodfare makes tasty cooked food affordable and accessible to the budget-conscious and low-income through the Rice Garden stalls. Rice Garden, a social outreach programme initiated by NTUC Foodfare during the financial crisis in 2009, provides affordable quality local fare to the public.  Comcare cardholders (low-income individuals and families) can have a tasty and substantial rice meal comprising two vegetables and one meat at only $1.50. Senior citizens, students, National Servicemen and Union members need to pay only $2.00/$2.50 (Hawker center & coffee shops respectively), while all other patrons pay a very reasonable price of $2.70/$3.00. From its first pilot stall in Aljunied, Rice Garden is finding its way into more heartlands of Singapore with a total of 40 Rice Garden stalls island-wide as of December 2016.

 

 

Good health and well-being

 

Incentivising people to opt for healthier food choices

NTUC Social Enterprises launched the “Healthy Eating and Living Initiative” in June 2016 to make healthy food options more accessible and affordable for Singaporeans, and enable everyone to opt for healthier lifestyles. This programme, developed in partnership with the Health Promotion Board (HPB), supports the Ministry of Health’s war on diabetes. The main areas of focus are the staples of everyday meals: whole grains, healthier oils and the use of less sugar.

 

To ensure that the healthier food options are accessible and affordable to Singaporeans, NTUC FairPrice offered a 5% discount on all FairPrice Housebrand wholegrain rice from June to September 2016. From June to December 2016, a series of various types of FairPrice Housebrand healthy cooking oils, certified with the Healthier Choice Symbol, were offered at discounts of up to 15%. NTUC Foodfare pledged to have all its food stalls in its food courts and coffee shops use healthier cooking oil in about two to three years’ time.

 

Additionally, NTUC FairPrice offers over 1,000 products with the Healthier Choice Label (HCL) to promote healthier food choices among its customers. It also carries out various promotions on HCL throughout the year to increase awareness and provide better value. In 2016, NTUC FairPrice helped shoppers save an estimated total of over half a million dollars with discounts on whole grains for three months and HCL products for two weeks.

 

NTUC Foodfare also made 500-calorie meal options available at its food stalls as part of HPB’s Healthier Dining Programme, to encourage customers to make the choice of opting for lower calorie meals with greater ease. It also continued its practice of selling beverages with no sugar at a cheaper price than other ordinary beverages to further incentivize its customers to opt for the healthier choice.

 

In line with NTUC Social Enterprises’ move to empower Singaporeans to choose healthier food options, NTUC First Campus produced a sticker booklet for the children in its pre-schools in 2016 to encourage the habit of choosing healthier food options from young. Children who consumed their share of fruit and vegetables daily were able to collect a booklet full of beautiful stickers. Most of My First Skool pre-schools are certified under HPB’s “Healthy Meals in Childcare Centre Programme”.

 

Furthermore, to incentivise their policyholders to adopt a healthy lifestyle, NTUC Income’s Orange Health offers health screenings at a special rate and gives rewards to those who pass the health screening.

 

Subsidising medical costs

To reach out to low-income families who require help with their medical bills, NTUC Income launched Income OrangeAid Medicard, which helps these families by reducing the cost of outpatient medical treatment at participating general practitioner clinics. This pre-paid co-pay card that costs $10 and pays up to $30 for common illnesses, is eligible for those with the Blue Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) cards. The amount of $30 will apply on top of the $18.50 subsidy already provided under the Blue CHAS tier.

 

Meeting protection needs of the unserved

NTUC Income also offers insurance coverage for the medical expenses (due to accident and infectious diseases) of people with Autism or Down syndrome, who are aged between 15 days to 30 years old. The SpecialCare (Autism) and SpecialCare (Down Syndrome) plans are revolutionary in that no other insurance company in Singapore offers insurance coverage to these unserved groups of people.

 

 

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

 

NTUC Social Enterprises have been adopting the use of innovative technologies to improve productivity and enhance user/customer experience.

 

At NTUC FairPrice, enhanced productivity enables it to stay lean and keep operation costs down, which will translate into more competitive prices for products in the stores and will benefit customers at the end of the day.

 

Scan2Go self-scanning technology

The Scan2Go technology at FairPrice Finest@Bukit Timah gives customers the convenience of scanning groceries and bagging them as they shop. Customers need only to head to the designated Scan2Go checkout counters for payment once they are done with shopping. Scan2Go also keeps a running total of what is in a basket, making budgeting easier for the customer. Two major spillover effects of the self-scanning technology are: first, Scan2Go customers are more inclined to bring their own bags thus reducing the use of plastic bags at the store; and second, with more customers being channeled to the faster-moving Scan2Go check-out counters, the queues at other check-out counters for non-Scan2Go customers move much quicker than before.

 

Self-Checkout system

The self-checkout systems at 59 NTUC FairPrice stores have helped to relieve the strain on manpower, as only one frontline staff is required to man six self-checkout counters instead of having six cashiers stationed at six check-out counters.

 

iCash system

NTUC FairPrice also installed the iCash system at regular manned checkout counters in 26 stores and 31 Cheers (convenience) stores to enable customers to enjoy smoother checkouts and more accurate change. Instead of handing the money directly to a cashier, all the customers need to do is to place their cash into the iCash machine when paying for their items, and receive the correct change the machine dispenses. The system also increases efficiency and productivity as it eliminates the need for staff to manually prepare cash floats for each cashier at the start of the business day, as well as reduces the strain on the chief cashier to physically count cash so as to verify the sales at the end of each shift. Furthermore, the iCash system provides greater security as cash is moved from the sales floor to the back room in secured cassettes to deter potential theft.

 

Benoi Distribution Centre

NTUC FairPrice’s Benoi Distribution Centre, which opened in 2015, is the first-of-its-kind Automated Storage and Caddy Pick Distribution Centre in Asia Pacific Region, which uses robotic technology and autonomous vehicles mounted on a monorail system for warehousing operations. The centre is able to manage 120,000 cartons per day (based on 12 hours of normal operations) – twice the productivity rate of conventional distribution centres that use manual pallet movers.

 

Workforce Assignment and Mobility” tool

NTUC Health incorporated a “Workforce Assignment and Mobility” tool in its home care services for a more efficient use of manpower resources, and batter cater to its clients. The tool enables NTUC Health to schedule client visits, plan travel routes, and allow care officers to bid for jobs on the go. The Workforce Assignment and Mobility tool is recognised as one of the best technology innovations that improve productivity, efficiency and quality of service offering for operators at the 5th Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards 2017.

 

Words from our CEOs

Opportunities and challenges

Driving Business Goals

NTUC Social Enterprises deliver a suite of integrated services to meet the needs of people in Singapore in a relevant manner, particularly in the areas of cost of living, ageing, healthcare and social mobility. As with all businesses, there are challenges. But it is how we are able to address the challenges and turn them into opportunities, so as to better serve people in Singapore, that sets us apart from competition.

In the Right Direction

Endorsements from directors of our boards

“For the past 40 years, NTUC Social Enterprises stand shoulder to shoulder with the Labour Movement in serving working families and creating social impact. Driven by their purpose to deliver goods and services that are relevant to people in Singapore, the NTUC Social Enterprises have committed themselves to constantly innovate on their business offerings. I believe this will put them in good stead as they continue to meet the unserved and underserved needs of our society today and in the years to come”

Mary Liew, President of NTUC and Director of NTUC Enterprise

“The NTUC Social Enterprises are acutely aware that they need to constantly innovate in order for their businesses to thrive and create social impact. I am heartened to note that they are moving in the right direction. With their inventive spirit, “can-do” attitude, and positive mind-set, they will be ready to take on new challenges and seize the opportunities to tackle social concerns about cost of living, ageing, health and social mobility more effectively.”

May Ng, Chairman of Mercatus and Director of NTUC Enterprise

“NTUC Social Enterprises understand the challenges they face in their respective industries, and are aware of the necessary steps they need to take to overcome them. Their commitment to making life better for people in Singapore will put them in good stead as they embrace innovation and imagination, coupled with industry, to work tirelessly to address the needs of the people they serve.”

Toh Hock Poh, Secretary for Financial Affairs, NTUC, and Director of NTUC Enterprise

WHO’S WHO

OUR SHAREHOLDERS

(version correct as of 31 December 2016)

1    National Trades Union Congress

2    Singapore Labour Foundation

3    Air Transport Executive Staff Union

4    Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers

5    Amalgamated Union of Public Employees

6    Amalgamated Union of Statutory Board Employees

7    Attractions, Resorts & Entertainment Union

8    Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees' Union

9    Chemical Industries Employees' Union

10  Creative Media and Publishing Union

11  DBS Staff Union

12  dnata Singapore Staff Union

13  Education Services Union

14  ExxonMobil Singapore Employees Union

15  Food, Drinks and Allied Workers Union

16  Healthcare Services Employees' Union

17  Housing and Development Board Staff Union

18  Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore Staff Union

19  Keppel Employees Union

20  Keppel FELS Employees' Union

21  Metal Industries Workers' Union

22  National Taxi Association

23  National Transport Workers' Union

24  Natsteel Employees' Union

25  Ngee Ann Polytechnic Academic Staff Union

26  Port Officers' Union

27  Public Utilities Board Employees' Union

28  Reuter Local Employees Union, Singapore

29  Scoot Tigerair Staff Union

30  Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Employees' Union

31  SIA Engineering Company Engineers and Executives Union

32  Singapore Airlines Staff Union

33  Singapore Airport Terminal Services Workers' Union

34  Singapore Bank Employees' Union

35  Singapore Bank Officers' Association

36  Singapore Chinese Teachers' Union

37  Singapore Industrial & Services Employees' Union

38  Singapore Insurance Employees Union

39  Singapore Interpreters' and Translators' Union

40  Singapore Malay Teachers' Union

41  Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers' Union

42  Singapore Maritime Officers' Union

43  Singapore Organisation of Seamen

44  Singapore Port Workers Union

45  Singapore Refining Company Employees' Union

46  Singapore Shell Employees' Union

47  Singapore Stevedores' Union

48  Singapore Tamil Teachers' Union

49  Singapore Teachers' Union

50  Singapore Technologies Electronics Employees' Union

51  Singapore Union of Broadcasting Employees

52  Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority Workers' Union

53  SPRING Singapore Staff Union

54  Staff Union of NTUC-ARU

55  Times Publishing Group Employees' Union

56  Union of ITE Training Staff

57  Union of Power and Gas Employees

58  Union of Security Employees

59  Union of Telecoms Employees of Singapore

60  United Workers of Electronics & Electrical Industries

61  United Workers of Petroleum Industry

 

  • Why co-operatives were formed

    The seeds of NTUC social enterprises were planted at the historic NTUC Modernisation Seminar in 1969 when Dr Goh Keng Swee, then the Finance Minister, urged NTUC to set up cooperatives for life insurance and essential consumer goods to meet the needs of workers.

  • Four Founding Principles

    1. NTUC co-operatives (social enterprises) must be fully competitive with private enterprise. They cannot expect any privileged treatment by the Government.
    2. The Labour Movement should engage the co-operatives (social enterprises) in those fields in which it has a natural built-in advantage.
    3. The highest standards of integrity must be established and maintained.
    4. NTUC co-operatives (social enterprises) must have effective management. Their staff should be recruited entirely on the basis of merit, and they should be given considerable scope to exercise initiative, judgement, and enterprise.

     

  • NTUC co-operatives are different from commercial companies

    NTUC co-operatives are set-up to maximise benefits for members as well as the wider Singapore society. Unlike commercial companies, NTUC co-operatives do not seek to maximize profits to only enrich their shareholders.

  • Unions as shareholders

    of NTUC co-operatives

    Since the set-up of the first NTUC co-operatives, there has been a strong sense of ownership among the Unions. Unionists raised capital to start the co-operatives, sold life insurance and even helped to pack rice at the first supermarkets. This spirit, together with the Labour Movement’s ability to obtain the support of capable persons in the public and private sectors, put NTUC co-operatives on the road to success.

     

    As owners, Unions are stewards of NTUC co-operatives and have a huge responsibility. They share in the co-operatives’ objectives and are protective of them. They guard the interest of the Labour Movement and the interest of customers, employees and communities.  In this way, the Unions ensure that the NTUC co-operatives, built with the first generation Unionists’ hard-earned money and on their dreams and labour, can endure to the next generation in a better state than when they first began.

     

Responsible Consumption and Production

In 2015, NTUC FairPrice launched the Foodwaste Framework to reduce food waste on three fronts – Processes, Public Education, and Partnerships. The Food Waste Index was developed as part of the framework to measure the annual total food waste against the total retail space of all NTUC FairPrice stores island-wide. The index is the first of its kind in Singapore. Since the start of the initiative, NTUC FairPrice has seen a 39% reduction in food waste from 11.9kg/sqm in 2014 to 6.3kg/sqm in 2016.

 

As part of its effort to reduce food waste, NTUC FairPrice also partners with Food from the Heart to donate unsold but still wholesome food to the needy.

 

In promoting responsible production, NTUC FairPrice carries only household paper products that have been eco-certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Singapore Green Label. A case in point was during the period of severe haze in Singapore in late 2015. NTUC FairPrice withdrew from its stores all paper products sourced from Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) immediately following notification from the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) that it had imposed a temporary restriction on the use of the “Singapore Green Label” certification for APP products.

 

This was a significant move as about 20% of the paper products carried in NTUC FairPrice stores were sourced from APP through a licensed distributor in Singapore. However, Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO of NTUC FairPrice, said that while the move to pull APP’s products off the shelves hurt NTUC FairPrice financially, to the tune of “millions”, he felt that it was the right and responsible thing to do as the action went beyond mere financial impact.

 

Climate Action

NTUC FairPrice launched the FairPrice Green Rewards scheme in 2007 to encourage shoppers to Bring-Your-Own-Bag to reduce the use of plastic bags. To incentivise customers, NTUC FairPrice introduced the token rebate to reward customers when they bring their own bags to pack their grocery purchases at NTUC FairPrice stores. The happy result was that in the past three years, this initiative contributed towards saving more than 10 million plastic bags each year.

 

In 2016, 19 of NTUC FairPrice’s stores were accorded with Green Mark award by Building Construction Authority (BCA) for being fitted with environmentally-friendly and sustainable features such as eco-friendly furniture laminates; integrated lighting management with auto-zonal lighting control and occupancy sensors; water efficient fittings; and CO2 refrigeration systems that reduce carbon emissions and conserve more energy.

 

Pre-Schoolers (Ages 0 – 6)

Providing quality education and reducing inequalities

All children can have a good start in life at My First Skool

 

All pre-school children have access to quality and affordable childhood education and development at My First Skool, so that they can all have a good start in life. NTUC First Campus’ Child Support Model aims to meet the social, developmental and financial needs of each child in a holistic and integrated manner.

 

To enable all children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have a pre-school education, NTUC First Campus’ Bright Horizons Fund provides financial assistance to families with needs. Child Enabling Executives are also employed in My First Skool centres with a higher number of children from low-income families to provide social support to vulnerable families and encourage these parents to allow their children to attend pre-school. NTUC First Campus will also continue to reserve at least 15% of enrolment places at My First Skool for children from less privileged families.

 

The Fund also subsidises the early intervention programmes for children with developmental delays to enable them to learn at their own pace. In 2016 alone, more than $1 million were disbursed to benefit 1,600 families.

 

Watch Video 1, Video 2

 

Insurance and savings scheme for pre-schoolers in need

 

To ensure that children at My First Skool from low-income families are not further disadvantaged when death or total and permanent disability occurs to his/her parent or guardian, who is the sole breadwinner, we have in place NTUC Income’s Income Family Micro-Insurance and Savings Scheme (IFMISS).

 

IFMISS offers a pay-out of $5,000 to help the family cope financially when the tragic event occurs, upon approval of the claim. NTUC Income also offers an additional pay-out (capped at $5,000) that matches the collective bank balances of the parent/guardian and his/her family unit.

 

This scheme dovetails the efforts by the Ministry of Education and schools to encourage children to save for a rainy day.

 

School-Going Students

(Pri.1 to tertiary-level)

Reducing inequalities

Share-A-Textbook to help all underprivileged students

 

Primary, Secondary, and pre-university students from under-privileged families receive practical help from NTUC FairPrice’s Share-A-Textbook programme. Since 1983, Share-A-Textbook programme has collected more than 4.7 million used textbooks, benefiting countless students as they were able to save on textbook expenses. A revolutionary scheme at the time when it first started, its relevance has endured all these 34 years. In 2016, Share-A-Textbook collected more than 400,000 used textbooks.

 

Beyond reducing inequalities among students, the Share-A-Textbook scheme also contributes towards a sustainable environment through the redistribution and recycling of textbooks to reduce waste.

 

In 2016, 130 members of the public participated in this meaningful project to help with the promotion, mass community collection, sorting and distribution of the textbooks. In addition, 170 community and supporting partners also supported this initiative by providing logistical support as well as volunteering their premises as distribution centres

 

 

Bursaries for deserving and disadvantaged ITE and Poly students

 

Deserving students from disadvantaged circumstances studying in the Institute of Technical Education and polytechnics, who might otherwise have dropped out of school because of financial difficulties, can receive financial aid in the form of bursaries from NTUC Income’s OrangeAid Future Development Programme (FDP). One thousand bursaries amounting to $2.5 million have been committed for this programme over a three year period beginning from 2015. The bursary, which pays for school fees and contributes towards their living expenses, also provides students with opportunities to learn financial literacy skills and receive career and personal guidance. The objective is to provide the youths in need with opportunities and empower them to create a better future for themselves through education.

 

 

Insurance and savings scheme for primary school children in need

 

Primary school students whose families receive financial assistance from the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme (MOE FAS) for Primary Schools will be covered under the Income Family Micro-Insurance and Savings Scheme (IFMISS).

 

In the unfortunate event of death or total and permanent disability (TPD) of a parent or guardian, IFMISS offers a pay-out of $5,000 to help the family cope financially during this difficult period, upon approval of the claim. NTUC Income also offers an additional pay-out (capped at $5,000) that matches the collective bank balances of the parent/guardian and his/her family unit. This scheme dovetails the efforts by the Ministry of Education and schools to encourage children to save for a rainy day.

 

Working Adults

Providing quality education, reducing inequalities, and offering decent work for economic growth

Skills training for career progression

 

NTUC LearningHub offers continuing education and training for workers in Singapore to reskill and upskill themselves for lifelong employability, career advancement and mobility, and salary increment.

 

From 2004 to end of 2016, NTUC LearningHub achieved more than 1.9 million training places. It offers an array of courses to meet the learning needs of different segments of workers in Singapore, ranging from blue-collar workers to PMEs, such as Infocomm Technology, Workplace Safety & Health, Security, Customer Service, Trades, Leadership, Communications and Design Thinking.

 

Working adults in Singapore can use their SkillsFuture Credits to acquire critical skills at NTUC LearningHub, which supports the SkillsFuture movement in Singapore.

 

 

Progressive Work Model for a clearer career pathway

 

NTUC SEs support the Progressive Wage Model (PWM), mooted by the Labour Movement, to provide a clear training and career progression pathway for their employees. Under the PWM, employees are able to upgrade their skills, achieve career advancement and wage progression that commensurate with their skills and responsibilities. The happy result is: motivated employees, increased productivity, and growth for the organisations.

 

NTUC First Campus is a case in point. It has put in place the PWM to enable pre-school teachers to enhance their skills and move up the career ladder to become supervisors and principals within its pre-school centres. NTUC FairPrice has also implemented the PWM to give its retail assistants and team leaders the opportunity to be trained systematically and equipped with the different skills sets to assume positions of higher responsibilities. NTUC Health, which has embarked on the PWM for its nurses and care-staff, and is now working towards the full implementation of the PWM, to enable staff to improve their skills and move progressively up the ladder in the eldercare sector.

 

 

Decent work for inclusive growth

 

NTUC FairPrice employs over 10,000 staff from all walks of life and across a wide age group of people. All employees are offered competitive remuneration and enjoy a host of benefits and welfare grants, such as flexible work arrangements, hardship and study grants. An inclusive employer, NTUC FairPrice works with SG Enable for the Train and Place Programme to employ over 50 persons with disabilities.

 

Senior Citizens

Promoting good health and well-being, reducing inequalities, and offering decent work for economic growth

Social health and well-being

 

NTUC Health understands the importance of enhancing the good health and well-being of seniors, to enable them to age-in-place.

 

Its Silver Circle Day and Senior Care Centres provide care management and support for seniors, who not only participate in social activities and exercises at the centres, but also benefit from the added services such as active rehabilitation, community nursing, and personalised dementia care. NTUC Health Silver Circle was recognised as having the Best Day Care Programme for the “most dynamic centre-based activities and programmes that improve wellbeing for older adults” at the 5th Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards 2017.

 

To ensure that seniors are well-engaged socially, NTUC Health Silver Circle also partners NTUC First Campus to deliver a structured inter-generational programme aimed at facilitating interaction between pre-schoolers and seniors. Seniors derive a stronger sense of purpose through shared activities where they mentor the children, while pre-schoolers, in turn, learn values of empathy and compassion, as well as respect for seniors.

 

To enable seniors to age-in-place as far as possible, NTUC Health’s Care@home service provides seniors with a comprehensive range of home care services such as companionship, personal hygiene, and respite care, amongst others, in their own homes. NTUC Health also runs nursing homes to meet the complex care needs of seniors who require round-the-clock assistance. Residents at the nursing homes with high rehabilitation potential receive more intensive therapy and support to enable them to regain better mobility and independence, so that they are able to return to the comfort of their own homes in due course.

 

 

Enabling active ageing in the community

 

Through its Cluster Support, NTUC Health has also been providing community-based care and support services for vulnerable seniors who have little or no family support within a HDB estate. The aim is to enhance their quality of life and ensure that they have the resources to live safely and independently at home, and in their preferred community for as long as possible.

 

Vulnerable seniors, who are ambulant and active, can access NTUC Health’s seven SilverACE Senior Activity Centres (SAC) located in mature HDB estates with a higher concentration of low-income neighbourhoods and rental blocks. Organised like a club-house, these drop-in centres enable seniors to remain engaged in the community as they can pass their time in the company of their peers and other volunteers over a game of chess, KTV sessions, or other communal activities.

 

The staff in the centres also regularly carry out home visits to members to monitor their well-being so as identify problems such as high-blood pressure and dementia among the seniors and refer them for treatment in a timely manner.

 

In 2016, NTUC Health opened SilverCOVE, its first Senior Wellness Centre, to engage active seniors living in serviced apartments at blocks 180A and 180B in Marsiling Road in community life so as to promote their good health and well-being.

 

 

Empowering seniors to live independent lives

 

NTUC FairPrice opened its elder-friendly stores to give a little help to independent seniors who want to age-in-place. Its eight senior-friendly stores are located in areas where there are higher concentrations of elderly residents, such as Lengkok Bahru and Redhill. These stores incorporate the principles of universal design with special features and products to make the experience of grocery shopping more enjoyable for seniors, and support them as they carry out their everyday tasks independently.

 

Elderly shoppers can also use the magnifying glasses at the aisles to help them read product labels with greater ease. They will also find it easier to reach for products as the shelves are customised to ideal heights. The stores also have wheelchair-friendly shopping trolleys available to allow wheelchair users to shop independently in the stores. To better meet the needs of elderly customers, they can use the call assist buttons located at the entrance and along the aisles to attract the attention of staff should they require assistance. The senior-friendly stores are stocked with a range of supplements, products with the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS), and assistive products such as walking aids to specially cater to the needs of seniors.

 

The frontline retail assistants at these stores have also received training to serve elderly customers better. The specially designed training programme – jointly developed by NTUC LearningHub, Centre for Seniors and the Dr Oon Chiew Seng Trust – equips staff with the skills and knowledge to better understand and anticipate the needs of elderly customers. They are now able to recognise senior-related ailments such as dementia, and be able to empathise with the difficulties that seniors may encounter, so that they can communicate better with them and respond better to their needs.

 

To help seniors cope better with the cost of living and to incentivise seniors to venture outside the confines of their own homes, NTUC FairPrice continues to offer 2% senior discount on Tuesdays, and 3% Pioneer Generation (PG) discounts on Mondays. The take-up has been so good and feedback from seniors so positive, that NTUC FairPrice has extended the PG discounts to another extra day in the week starting in 2017.

 

Beyond savings, members of the Pioneer Generation also enjoy the use of designated priority payment counters at all FairPrice supermarkets and hypermarkets island-wide, to give them greater ease when they shop.

 

 

Gainful employment for seniors

 

NTUC Social Enterprises support the government’s policy regarding employment of older workers so as to enable them to remain active and gainfully employed, as well as to continue to contribute to the economy and society.

 

A case in point is NTUC FairPrice, which employs older workers into its workforce, and customises the job according to their age and physical abilities. An example would be FairPrice Xtra hypermarket at Changi Business Park. Many of the older workers there do light work such as placing price tags on bananas after weighing them and transferring light boxes of fruits to lower shelves. At the same time, fitter younger workers are given the task of stacking heavier items such as drink packets and detergent bottles on the top shelves.

 

Currently, more than 50% of the workforce is over 50, and around 16% of the entire workforce is above 60 years of age. The percentage of older workers in its workforce is significantly higher than the national average.

 

 

Protection needs of seniors

 

To better meet the diverse and yet unserved needs of seniors as they age, NTUC Income offers specially designed insurance products and services that are affordable and relevant to them, namely, SilverCare to protect seniors against personal accidents; Silver Protect to protect against cancer; and Silver Secure to protect against old age-related ailments common amongst older persons.

 

In designing these plans, NTUC Income gave due consideration to the fact that some seniors might have pre-existing conditions, and recalibrated the underwriting requirements and set practical benchmarks to suit seniors, so that more of them can benefit from these protection plans.

 

For example, a person aged between 50 and 74 years old requires no medical check-up when signing up for Silver Protect. NTUC Income will insure this elderly person even if he/she has declared pre-existing conditions such as a higher body mass index, cholesterol level, and blood pressure, as long as these conditions are non-cancer related.

 

Meeting the Needs of People in Singapore across the Board

Improving lives holistically by tackling poverty; eradicating poverty; reducing inequalities; promoting good health and well-being; and implementing industry innovation and infrastructure

No poverty, zero hunger & reduced inequalities

 

NTUC Social Enterprises pay particular attention to the low-income and vulnerable in Singapore, who are susceptible to poverty. We contribute towards enabling the low-income group in Singapore to live better and more meaningful lives by addressing issues relating to cost of living, ageing, health and social mobility through the suite of integrated services provided by our group of social enterprises.

 

We make daily essentials and cooked food affordable and accessible to the low-income, as well as promote social mobility through our work in childhood development and education, and skills training for working adults.

 

 

Making Daily Essentials and Cooked Food Affordable and Accessible to the Low-Income

 

Cost-saving initiatives

NTUC FairPrice has in place cost-saving initiatives to cater to the needs of budget-conscious customers and low-income households such as FairPrice housebrand, Yellow Dot items and Everyday Low Price products. Housebrand items are produced by NTUC FairPrice itself and are, on average, 10% cheaper than comparable national brands. Items marked as Yellow Dot items, are basic items such as rice and frozen meat, which are prices at 20% to 25% cheaper than similar items in the same categories. There is also a basket of more than 1,000 Everyday Low Price items, which are priced lower or similar to other retailers. All items are price-checked daily and they range from toiletries to canned food.

 

No-frills shop

NTUC FairPrice started six FairPrice Shop outlets in 2016 as no-frills shops to cater to residents in mature housing estates with a higher concentration of low-income households, eg, Circuit Road and Eunos Crescent. Fifty per cent of FairPrice Shop is stocked with cost-saving items such as housebrand products, Yellow Dot items and Everyday Low Price items. FairPrice shop also exclusively carries Value Fresh, which is a new housebrand range of produce, comprising fresh vegetables, and priced at five to 10% lower than NTUC FairPrice’s existing range of housebrand produce, ‘Pasar’. To empower customers to stretch their hard-earned dollar, signs are also placed in the FairPrice Shop to recommend the shoppers the ways to save money from their purchases. By the end of 2017, the number of FairPrice Shop outlets will be expanded to 12 to be more accessible to more residents from low-income neighbourhoods.

 

Rice Garden stalls

NTUC Foodfare makes tasty cooked food affordable and accessible to the budget-conscious and low-income through the Rice Garden stalls. Rice Garden, a social outreach programme initiated by NTUC Foodfare during the financial crisis in 2009, provides affordable quality local fare to the public.  Comcare cardholders (low-income individuals and families) can have a tasty and substantial rice meal comprising two vegetables and one meat at only $1.50. Senior citizens, students, National Servicemen and Union members need to pay only $2.00/$2.50 (Hawker center & coffee shops respectively), while all other patrons pay a very reasonable price of $2.70/$3.00. From its first pilot stall in Aljunied, Rice Garden is finding its way into more heartlands of Singapore with a total of 40 Rice Garden stalls island-wide as of December 2016.

 

 

Good health and well-being

 

Incentivising people to opt for healthier food choices

NTUC Social Enterprises launched the “Healthy Eating and Living Initiative” in June 2016 to make healthy food options more accessible and affordable for Singaporeans, and enable everyone to opt for healthier lifestyles. This programme, developed in partnership with the Health Promotion Board (HPB), supports the Ministry of Health’s war on diabetes. The main areas of focus are the staples of everyday meals: whole grains, healthier oils and the use of less sugar.

 

To ensure that the healthier food options are accessible and affordable to Singaporeans, NTUC FairPrice offered a 5% discount on all FairPrice Housebrand wholegrain rice from June to September 2016. From June to December 2016, a series of various types of FairPrice Housebrand healthy cooking oils, certified with the Healthier Choice Symbol, were offered at discounts of up to 15%. NTUC Foodfare pledged to have all its food stalls in its food courts and coffee shops use healthier cooking oil in about two to three years’ time.

 

Additionally, NTUC FairPrice offers over 1,000 products with the Healthier Choice Label (HCL) to promote healthier food choices among its customers. It also carries out various promotions on HCL throughout the year to increase awareness and provide better value. In 2016, NTUC FairPrice helped shoppers save an estimated total of over half a million dollars with discounts on whole grains for three months and HCL products for two weeks.

 

NTUC Foodfare also made 500-calorie meal options available at its food stalls as part of HPB’s Healthier Dining Programme, to encourage customers to make the choice of opting for lower calorie meals with greater ease. It also continued its practice of selling beverages with no sugar at a cheaper price than other ordinary beverages to further incentivize its customers to opt for the healthier choice.

 

In line with NTUC Social Enterprises’ move to empower Singaporeans to choose healthier food options, NTUC First Campus produced a sticker booklet for the children in its pre-schools in 2016 to encourage the habit of choosing healthier food options from young. Children who consumed their share of fruit and vegetables daily were able to collect a booklet full of beautiful stickers. Most of My First Skool pre-schools are certified under HPB’s “Healthy Meals in Childcare Centre Programme”.

 

Furthermore, to incentivise their policyholders to adopt a healthy lifestyle, NTUC Income’s Orange Health offers health screenings at a special rate and gives rewards to those who pass the health screening.

 

Subsidising medical costs

To reach out to low-income families who require help with their medical bills, NTUC Income launched Income OrangeAid Medicard, which helps these families by reducing the cost of outpatient medical treatment at participating general practitioner clinics. This pre-paid co-pay card that costs $10 and pays up to $30 for common illnesses, is eligible for those with the Blue Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) cards. The amount of $30 will apply on top of the $18.50 subsidy already provided under the Blue CHAS tier.

 

Meeting protection needs of the unserved

NTUC Income also offers insurance coverage for the medical expenses (due to accident and infectious diseases) of people with Autism or Down syndrome, who are aged between 15 days to 30 years old. The SpecialCare (Autism) and SpecialCare (Down Syndrome) plans are revolutionary in that no other insurance company in Singapore offers insurance coverage to these unserved groups of people.

 

 

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

 

NTUC Social Enterprises have been adopting the use of innovative technologies to improve productivity and enhance user/customer experience.

 

At NTUC FairPrice, enhanced productivity enables it to stay lean and keep operation costs down, which will translate into more competitive prices for products in the stores and will benefit customers at the end of the day.

 

Scan2Go self-scanning technology

The Scan2Go technology at FairPrice Finest@Bukit Timah gives customers the convenience of scanning groceries and bagging them as they shop. Customers need only to head to the designated Scan2Go checkout counters for payment once they are done with shopping. Scan2Go also keeps a running total of what is in a basket, making budgeting easier for the customer. Two major spillover effects of the self-scanning technology are: first, Scan2Go customers are more inclined to bring their own bags thus reducing the use of plastic bags at the store; and second, with more customers being channeled to the faster-moving Scan2Go check-out counters, the queues at other check-out counters for non-Scan2Go customers move much quicker than before.

 

Self-Checkout system

The self-checkout systems at 59 NTUC FairPrice stores have helped to relieve the strain on manpower, as only one frontline staff is required to man six self-checkout counters instead of having six cashiers stationed at six check-out counters.

 

iCash system

NTUC FairPrice also installed the iCash system at regular manned checkout counters in 26 stores and 31 Cheers (convenience) stores to enable customers to enjoy smoother checkouts and more accurate change. Instead of handing the money directly to a cashier, all the customers need to do is to place their cash into the iCash machine when paying for their items, and receive the correct change the machine dispenses. The system also increases efficiency and productivity as it eliminates the need for staff to manually prepare cash floats for each cashier at the start of the business day, as well as reduces the strain on the chief cashier to physically count cash so as to verify the sales at the end of each shift. Furthermore, the iCash system provides greater security as cash is moved from the sales floor to the back room in secured cassettes to deter potential theft.

 

Benoi Distribution Centre

NTUC FairPrice’s Benoi Distribution Centre, which opened in 2015, is the first-of-its-kind Automated Storage and Caddy Pick Distribution Centre in Asia Pacific Region, which uses robotic technology and autonomous vehicles mounted on a monorail system for warehousing operations. The centre is able to manage 120,000 cartons per day (based on 12 hours of normal operations) – twice the productivity rate of conventional distribution centres that use manual pallet movers.

 

Workforce Assignment and Mobility” tool

NTUC Health incorporated a “Workforce Assignment and Mobility” tool in its home care services for a more efficient use of manpower resources, and batter cater to its clients. The tool enables NTUC Health to schedule client visits, plan travel routes, and allow care officers to bid for jobs on the go. The Workforce Assignment and Mobility tool is recognised as one of the best technology innovations that improve productivity, efficiency and quality of service offering for operators at the 5th Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards 2017.