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NTUC Launches Physical Helpdesk and Online Directory for Freelancers

In partnership with NLB, the NTUC U FSE Centre at the National Library Building is a helpdesk where freelancers and self-employed persons can seek assistance.

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By Kay del Rosario 28 Mar 2024
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In a significant step towards supporting freelancers and self-employed persons (FSEs) in Singapore, the NTUC Freelancers and Self-Employed Unit (U FSE), in collaboration with the National Library Board (NLB), have inked a partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 28 March 2024.


This collaboration has resulted in the launch of the NTUC U FSE Centre at the National Library Building, a helpdesk and support hub for FSEs seeking guidance and resources in their professional endeavours.


The NTUC U FSE Centre, alongside the launch of an online U FSE Freelancer Directory, marks a turning point in enhancing the visibility and accessibility of freelance professionals across various industries.


Benny Tay: A testament to freelancer resilience


Among those set to benefit from these new initiatives is Benny Tay, a private hire vehicle driver and the creative mind behind Chipsley’s World, a popular cartoon series.


Mr Tay, who juggles driving with his passion for cartoon creation, sees the online directory as a vital tool for expanding his business and connecting with potential partners.


“We will have a lot more exposure, especially with the upcoming directories where anyone can source for services. I might be chosen by someone who may need my services," he said, highlighting the potential for revenue growth and business expansion beyond Singapore’s borders.


He also lauds the opening of the physical helpdesk.


“I think it’s very helpful; it’s in a central location and very easily accessible for those who are not driving. But of course, the drivers or freelancers themselves need to have the initiative to come and approach the helpdesk,” said Mr Tay.




U FSE Centre: Bridging the digital divide


The U FSE Centre aims to be more than just a physical space for FSEs like Benny. It is designed to assist those less tech-savvy in navigating government schemes and NTUC programmes.


NTUC Freelancers and Self-Employed Unit Director Jean See elaborated on the centre’s objectives.


“The U FSE Centre is the first ever for NTUC, and we intend to use the centre to benefit freelancers who are less digitally savvy.


“We have also gathered a pool of seasoned freelancers who can give advice and are collaborating with various stakeholders for progress and networking,” she said.


In addition, the U FSE Centre is set to offer enquiry services tailored to meet the specific needs of FSE individuals, like the renewal of vocational licenses for taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (PHV) and assistance with government-paid family leave schemes.


It will also facilitate access to various NTUC care schemes and membership benefits.


The U FSE Centre is located at the National Library Building, Level 7, LAUNCH Zone, and will be open from 4 April 2024, every Thursday from 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm. It will be closed on public holidays.




The Online Directory: Making freelancers discoverable


The U FSE Freelancer Directory, NTUC’s novel initiative, addresses a critical challenge faced by freelancers during the COVID-19 pandemic: discoverability.


“When COVID happened, it was very difficult for freelancers to be found online ... So, the directory was built to make it easier for them to be connected with opportunities,” Ms See remarked.


She also emphasised the directory’s role in bridging the gap between freelancers and potential clients.


The U FSE Freelancer directory lists freelancers and their skills, expertise, and services. To access the online directory, visit


U FSE also plans to use its network to market the directory as the go-to platform for professional freelancers to the NTUC network of affiliated unions, social enterprises, and companies, as well as government agencies and trade bodies.


Championing freelancer welfare and progress


NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Cham Hui Fong echoes NTUC's commitment to freelancers' welfare and progress. She sees these initiatives as part of a broader effort to advocate for better work prospects, welfare, and wages for freelancers.


“Freelancers and self-employed people are a diverse group. This partnership with the National Library Board aims to better support them with resources and programmes so that they can build a sustainable livelihood,” Ms Cham stated.


With the U FSE Centre and Freelancer Directory, NTUC is setting the stage for a transformative era in freelancing.


By providing a physical hub for guidance and an online platform for visibility, these initiatives are poised to empower freelancers like Benny Tay to navigate the challenges of self-employment with confidence, forge new partnerships, and expand their businesses.