For the first time ever, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), under its U Associate and Link Rewards Programme umbrellas, is collaborating with the Singapore Cybersports and Online Gaming Association (SCOGA) on a new membership for gamers – the GAMERS.SG membership. Registration for the GAMERS.SG membership is open to anyone residing in Singapore, and members will gain access to career coaching services provided by the NTUC U PME Centre, a one-stop career service platform for professionals, managers and executives (PME).
In addition, GAMERS.SG members can enjoy exclusive members-only deals by popular esports merchants including APOL Singapore, ASUS Singapore, Logitech G, Razer and Toy or Game. They will have access to gaming workshops to build social cohesion in the esports community and enjoy free access to SCOGA’s first clubhouse, located at the Sports Lifestyle Centre in the heart of Bukit Merah.
The clubhouse is a gaming haven equipped with high-end gaming desktops, monitors, tables and chairs courtesy of sponsors Aftershock, Omnidesk, Prism+ and Tech Dynamic, a pair of the latest gaming consoles, racing simulators and a multipurpose space for mobile, card and board games. The clubhouse will host programmes and activities such as community tournaments and educational workshops organised by SCOGA and its Esports Academy, the association’s skills development and training arm.
A Viable Career Path Beyond Gaming
Worldwide, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of esports entertainment as more turned to alternative sports entertainment in view of safe management measures. The wide usage of mobile phones and easy download access to mobile apps has also played a major role in the growth of the esports industry in the Asia-Pacific region. As the local esports industry continues to gain traction, gaming has evolved to become a viable career option.
“Since the pandemic, many have turned to online gaming and esports for entertainment. The public is familiar with the “fun” side of the industry, but there’s another side to the esports industry that many do not know about. The GAMERS.SG membership will open doors for those looking for employment opportunities in this sector, and U PME Centre can provide career support and relevant courses for members to upskill and upgrade, so they can take on roles in an industry that they are passionate about,” says Melvin Yong, Assistant Secretary-General and Director, U Associate, NTUC.
NTUC and SCOGA aim to expand career opportunities by curating and organising targeted esports workshops and courses from general communication and marketing to focused audio sound technology and staging mechanics. Through its Esports Academy, SCOGA also offers programmes ranging from soft skills enhancement like teamwork, adaptability, discipline, and creativity to technical skills training in esports coaching, esports operations and shoutcasting, which are popular career pathways in the industry.
Other initiatives in the pipeline include engagement with educational institutions to educate and open young minds to the industry; and collaboration with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and corporations to facilitate on-the-job training and talent recruitment for interested job entrants. The partnership will also offer the public access to production workshops to experience different technologies used in the esports scene.
A Step in a New Direction
These efforts aim to raise awareness and reduce misconceptions about career opportunities in the esports industry. Currently, jobs within the esports industry remain largely unknown to the larger public. Apart from gaming, there are several non-gaming roles in the industry such as marketing specialist, events and operations executive, social media lead and product specialist. According to jobs portal, Indeed1, the number of jobs related to esports rose 343% between 2015 to 2019 and continued to grow through 2020.
Dennis Ooi, President of SCOGA said, “Since SCOGA was founded in 2007, our co-founder and former chairman Nicholas Khoo has emphasised and mandated our mission to focus on serving Singaporeans who love esports. Staying true to our mission, we have grown over the years by continually creating impactful value for our community. Partnering with NTUC will allow us to level up in providing career training and support services to fellow Singaporeans looking to grow their careers in this fast-growing industry.”
ASG Melvin shared, “I’ve attended SCOGA’s production workshops and enjoyed learning about the technology used to run different functions like broadcasting, production and staging. These workshops can be beneficial for job seekers. This partnership will mark NTUC’s first foray into the esports industry and highlights how NTUC continuously evolves its membership structure to keep up with the needs of our members in the digital age.”
At an annual fee of $55, the Gamers.SG membership activation will start immediately upon the member’s receipt of the Link Rewards card with the customised GAMERS.SG logo. To learn more about the membership, please visit [https://upme.ntuc.org.sg/GamersSG-Membership]. For more information about the U PME Centre and career services, please visit [https://upme.ntuc.org.sg/UPME/Pages/AboutUs].