Five things to know about MCCY’s Committee of Supply debate
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth announced support programmes and enhancements to various sectors like the arts and sports.
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s (MCCY) Community of Supply debate in Parliament on Mar 8 saw the announcement of several programmes and enhancements to various sectors, including the arts and sports.
Themed “Forging Forward Together”, here are five things you should know about the announcements from MCCY.
1. Enhancements to the Arts and Culture Resilience Package
Minister of Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong announced an additional $20 million grant as part of the Arts and Culture Resilience Package to support freelancers and businesses in the sector.
A Self-Employed Person Grant was also introduced by Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth Low Yen Ling to provide up to $50,000 per project. These projects can involve live performances, digital presentations or skills development.
A new Business Transformation Fund scheme was introduced to support the transformation of arts and culture organisations and their recovery post-pandemic.
Under the scheme, groups can apply for a Business Transformation Grant which will provide up to $30,000 per project for transformation efforts including digitalisation.
Up to $200,000 per project will be available for collaborative initiatives or projects with the potential for industry spin-offs.
The National Arts Council and MCCY will engage the sector in the coming weeks and will aim to launch both grants by June.
2. More grants and programmes in the sports sector
During his speech, Minister Tong announced a $25 million boost to the Sports Resilience Package to support self-employed people and businesses in the sector.
A new Self-Employed Person Project grant was also introduced. Capped at $25,000 per application, the grant will support projects between sports freelancers and organisations enhancing the health and wellness of Singaporeans.
Another $22.5 million will be added to the Enterprise Innovation and Capability Development Grant and will be extended over five years until FY2025. The grant was previously piloted to build stronger digital capabilities, drive innovation and upskilling in the sports industry.
An extension to existing grants and programmes including the Operating Grant for businesses, Training Allowance Grant and Structured Mentorship Programme was also announced.
Minister Tong also introduced a Safe Sport Programme to address harassment and abuse in sports. A Unified Code against misconduct will be laid out as a “shared reference point” against inappropriate behaviour.
3. Professional football programme for youths
MCCY, Sports Singapore (SportsSG) and the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) will introduce a national football programme for Singaporean youths to train and go professional.
Announced by Mr Tong, the football programme will be introduced in phases, with the first phase aiming to lay the foundation for football teams across different age groups.
A standardised National Football Curriculum will be introduced for football co-curricular activities in primary schools to improve football standards. All coaches and personnel will be trained to teach the curriculum.
Selected secondary schools will have football academies established with enhanced training support. An elite youth league will also be organised for youth footballers to compete in.
Footballers who wish to pursue a professional career in the sport can look forward to local and overseas scholarships.
4. Engagement office set up to manage Malay/Muslim volunteers
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Maliki Osman introduced a new government-led office to improve engagement efforts between Malay/Muslim volunteers and the management of community resources.
The M³ Engagement Coordination Office (Eco) will set up a training framework for volunteers on national policies and schemes as well as equip them with the skills to help vulnerable families. M³ is a collaboration between three key Malay/Muslim community institutions – Muis, MENDAKI and PA MESRA.
One of Eco’s immediate tasks is capability building of volunteers in M³@Towns – a platform for volunteers to serve the needs of residents in their neighbourhood.
Through Eco, M³ will also coordinate outreach efforts with government programmes and help to better meet the needs of the community with strengthened partnerships.
5. Promoting volunteerism
Minister for State for Culture, Community and Youth Alvin Tan highlighted the priorities of the Government in providing youths with greater opportunities to contribute their ideas and make a difference in the community.
One such programme includes the Youth Action Challenge, where youth ground-up initiatives are supported through funding, mentorship and connections with industry partnerships.
Since the programme started in 2019, 16 projects have been created by youths to help vulnerable groups such as families, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
The establishment of the SGTogether Alliances for Action (AfA) will also allow Singaporeans to continue contributing their ideas and taking actions, he said.
As part of the SG Together AfA on Emerging Needs and Volunteerism, Minister Tan shared that Singaporeans prioritised helping seniors gain new skills to help them navigate better in the post-COVID-19 landscape.
He encouraged community partners to join in on designing programmes and technology platforms for seniors.