NTUC and NLB Sign MOU to Uplift and Support Freelancers and Self-Employed Persons

NTUC U FSE Centre, located at Level 7 of the National Library Building, is a helpdesk for Freelancers and Self-Employed persons (FSEs) who are looking to get assistance with NTUC care schemes, and other support schemes. This centre also provides access to programmes in collaboration with Launch, NLB’s business training and advisory service, through talks, training sessions, workshops and information advisory services, which are aimed at upskilling FSEs and enhancing sustainability and career health.

Beyond the MOU, NTUC is also kickstarting its pilot initiative, the U FSE Freelancer Directory to provide holistic support to freelancers in the coaching, creative and media sectors for better work prospects. 

Launch of new NTUC U FSE Centre
1. The NTUC Freelancers and Self-Employed Unit (U FSE) and the National Library Board (NLB) this morning signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish the U FSE Centre at the National Library Building, within the National Library Board’s (NLB) Launch space at Level 7. Witnessed by NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Cham Hui Fong, NLB’s Chief Executive Officer Ng Cher Pong, the MOU was signed by Alicia Yeo, Director of National Library and Jean See, Director of the U FSE. 

2. During the pandemic, one of the main challenges faced by FSEs was not knowing where to go for information relating to their work, such as applying for government digital services for work, which impacted their livelihoods. With this in mind, the U FSE Centre has been set up as a helpdesk to provide FSEs looking to get assistance. 

Collaboration to Roll Out Programmes 
3. Under the MOU, U FSE and NLB will also collaborate on programmes to strengthen income security, skills mastery, occupational safety and occupational health for FSEs. The programmes comprise business skills workshops to impart business fundamentals such as starting out right as a freelancer, profitable business model, brand and reputation management. 

4. There will also be industry talks on trends impacting freelancers such as on artificial intelligence (AI), fair hiring practices, as well as programmes covering personal finance, health and wellbeing, and career wayfinding. These upcoming programmes will complement NLB’s Launch initiative to support the business and the entrepreneurship community including freelancers, microbusinesses, aspiring entrepreneurs and individuals looking to upskill. 

New U FSE Freelancer Directory  
5. Beyond this collaboration, U FSE is kickstarting a new digital Freelancer Directory for FSEs to list their skills, expertise, and services. U FSE will tap on its collaborative relationships to market the Freelancer 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.

6. This directory is part of U FSE’s ongoing effort to holistically support FSEs to broaden their network and increase work prospects. To this end, as service providers increasingly turn to online platforms to search for services for their businesses, the Freelancer Directory will help to increase the discoverability of FSEs and the services they provide. As U FSE is building up its repository of freelancers for the creative, media, and coaching sectors, FSEs from other sectors will be invited to join the Freelancer Directory subsequently.  To access the online directory, click here

7. NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Cham Hui Fong said, “Freelancers and self-employed persons are a diverse group. Unlike traditional employment, they encounter unique challenges such as limited access to structured training and job security concerns. This partnership with National Library Board aims to better support freelancers and self-employed persons with resources and programmes so that they can build a sustainable livelihood. Additionally, NTUC’s initiatives, U FSE Freelancer Directory and the U FSE Centre, will also provide a holistic support system for FSEs to thrive. Through these efforts, NTUC is advocating for better work prospects, welfare and wages for our members because every worker matters.”

8. NLB’s Chief Executive Officer Ng Cher Pong said, “About 3,500 patrons have already tapped on the resources and programmes at Launch@Punggol Regional Library, which opened last April.  Now freelancers and solopreneurs can look forward to more resources, networking opportunities and co-working spaces with our newly opened Launch service at the National Library Building. We are happy to partner NTUC U FSE, who share a similar vision in supporting freelancers, aspiring entrepreneurs, and self-employed persons through resources, programmes, communities and networks. This is aligned with NLB’s LAB25 (Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025) goal to provide a Learning Marketplace, bringing greater learning opportunities to all. We are also excited to share that Launch will soon open at its third location at Jurong Regional Library, making this service accessible to even more patrons.”      

NTUC U FSE Centre Operating Hours, Services and Programmes
9. The centre will officially start on 4 April 2024. The centre will operate on scheduled Thursdays, from 10am to 3pm (lunch break is 12pm to 1pm), for walk-ins and appointments. For more information, please visit https://www.ufse.org.sg/

10. The services provided at the U FSE Centre are complimentary to all freelancers and self-employed persons. Enquiry services that will be offered include: 
Vocational license renewal for taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (PHV)
Government-paid family leave schemes and other government schemes relevant to FSEs
National registries for coaches and exercise professionals respectively
NTUC care schemes 
NTUC membership 

11. For the list of upcoming programmes available at the U FSE Centre and NLB’s Launch, please refer to Annex A


For media queries, please contact:

National Library Board, Corporate Communications Division
Hoe I Yune
Weber Shandwick 
9324 2061


NTUC Strategic Communications 
Faris Syed
Senior Consultant 
8200 2041

Pearlene Wong
Senior Consultant
9271 7890

Glossary of Terms in English and Chinese

Chinese Names and Terms


National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)


NTUC Freelancers and Self-Employed Unit

全国职工总会 自由业者和自雇人士处

Cham Hui Fong 
NTUC Deputy Secretary-General

职总 副秘书

Jean See Jinli 
Director of U Freelancers and Self-Employed Unit

全国职工总会 自由业者和自雇人士处 处长 

National Library Board



Launch 中心

Ng Cher Pong,
Chief Executive Officer, NLBt


Alicia Yeo
Director, National Library, NLB



About National Library Board
The National Library Board (NLB) nurtures Readers for Life, Learning Communities and a Knowledgeable Nation by promoting reading, learning and history through its network of 28 libraries, the National Library and the National Archives of Singapore. NLB also forges strategic partnerships that encourage awareness, appreciation and greater discovery of Singapore's history through its rich collections on Singapore and the region.

NLB achieves excellence through innovation, focusing on citizen engagement and co-creation, resource and digital innovation. This creates learning opportunities, greater access to library resources, services, and archival collections, as well as a continual development of innovative library spaces. Established on 1 September 1995 as a statutory board, NLB is under the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).

For more information, please visit the NLB website, and NLB’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube channels. 

About National Trades Union Congress
The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is a national confederation of trade unions as well as a network of professional associations and partners across all sectors in Singapore. NTUC's objectives are to help Singapore stay competitive and working people remain employable for life; to enhance the social status and well-being of our members and working people; and to build a strong, responsible and caring labour movement. NTUC's vision is to be an inclusive labour movement for all collars, ages and nationalities. NTUC is at the heart of the Labour Movement, which comprises 58 affiliated unions, seven affiliated associations, seven social enterprises, six related organisations as well as a growing ecosystem of professional associations and enterprise partners. For more details, visit www.ntuc.org.sg.

About U FSE
The Freelancers and Self-Employed Unit, U FSE, represents freelancers and self-employed persons in Singapore and works towards strengthening their Wage, Welfare and Work Prospects.

U FSE works closely with stakeholders such as relevant government agencies, self-employed person community groups, platform intermediaries, corporate service buyers and business solutions providers to strengthen the income security, skills mastery, occupational safety and health, and collective interests of this group of working people. For more information: https://www.ufse.org.sg/ 

About Launch
Launch is NLB’s business training and advisory service for aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners and working adults. Having piloted the service at Punggol Regional Library in April 2023, NLB has since brought Launch to the National Library Building, to serve users in the civic and business district. The new Launch space features conducive spaces for collaboration, discussion and focused work, while new event spaces will host an exciting slate of Launch programmes including Pitch Nights, coaching sessions and business info-literacy workshops. Through the Business Kickstarter service, users can also set up consultations with a Launch specialist for guidance on how to maximise NLB’s business databases and resources for market research. 


Annex A
List of upcoming programmes that will be available at the U FSE Centre at Level 7, Launch, National Library Building: 
1. Personal finance clinics: Know how and what to prioritise to build and balance sustainable business and income security. Collaborators include the Institute for Financial Literacy (IFL). 
2. Personal Health Workshops: Stay informed about holistic wellness workshops, stress management techniques, and caregiving support to effectively balance work and caregiving responsibilities. Collaborators include the Health Promotion Board (HPB). 
3. Industry Talks: Covering topics that affect freelancers in their industry, such as safety, fair practices, ethics, AI and more!
4. Business coaching for new or existing freelancers:
    i. Business skills workshops: Hear from industry veterans on how to build and grow a freelancing career. Topics covered include: 
     o Starting Right as a Freelancer
     o Set-up and Contracting
     o Pricing Right for Profitable Passions
     o Brand and Reputation management
    ii. 1-to-1 coaching: “Ask me about freelancing”: Novice freelancers get the opportunity to speak with seasoned practitioners who have been self-employed for over 10 years on freelancing as a career.

List of Upcoming Programmes at Launch in National Library Building (Level 7) and at Jurong Regional Library:


Upcoming Date(s)

Freelancing 101 and U FSE Freelancer Directory
Find out how to start right as a freelancer and pick up the essential tools & tips for a viable and sustainable career with Jeremiah Choy from Orangedot Productions. After the talk, join for the launch of the first ever NTUC Freelancers Directory by NTUC’s Freelancers & Self-Employed Unit (NTUC U FSE).

Be profiled on NTUC’s first-ever Freelancers Directory!

The online Directory will make it easy and convenient for government agencies, social organisations, and companies to discover and hire freelancer professionals, including instructors and creatives. Register here: https://go.gov.sg/freelance

Thu, 28 Mar, 10.45am – 12.15pm
National Library Building (Level 7), Launch Programme Room and Online via Zoom



Product Photography for Entrepreneurs
What is Product Photography? How can I optimise my product pictures? Join us for a one-hour workshop with Sunny Ang, a professional photographer on improving your product image with helpful photography tips. 

Topics that will be covered:
Photography Composition
Basic post-editing

About the Speaker:
Sunny Ang, Photographer, Brand Ambassador for Nikon and Workshop Facilitator

Sunny is a seasoned photographer with a decade of expertise in the industry. He has worked with brands such as Apple, LEGO, Hasbro, conducting photography workshops and producing work for their social media accounts.

His journey through the lens has been marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence and a commitment to capturing the essence of every product he shoots. In addition to his commercial endeavours, Sunny is passionate about sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience with others. His workshops offer invaluable insights into the art and technique of photography. Through his engaging and informative sessions, he inspires participants to unleash their creativity and elevate their photographic skills.

Register here: https://go.gov.sg/prodphoto

Thu, 28 Mar, 4.00-5.00pm
National Library Building (Level 7), Launch Programme Room 

From Tingkat to Dabao: Food Delivery in Modern Singapore
Food delivery in Singapore has evolved over the years, from itinerant street hawkers to the tingkat, or tiffin carrier, which is still being used today. Once taken for granted, the COVID-19 pandemic brought food delivery services to the fore when dining out became prohibited, and F&B operators had to pivot to new business models. Food delivery also joined the ranks of the gig economy, providing diverse individuals with new freelancing opportunities.

This talk will trace the history of food delivery in modern Singapore, its changing landscapes, and its impact on the nation today.

About the Speaker
Kevin Seet is a Librarian at the National Library. He manages the National Library's Business, Science and Technology collection. His current interests lie in business heritage and sociology.

About A Librarian’s World
Ever wondered what librarians do? In this series of monthly talks, find our what makes our librarians tick as they share highlights of their work from the collection of the National Library

Register here: https://go.gov.sg/tingkat

Thu, 28 Mar, 7.00-8.00pm, Online 

What it takes to be a successful F&B founder start-up? | Breakthrough Fireside Chats with Entrepreneurs 
Gain practical insights into the world of entrepreneurship through candid discussions with startups, venture capitalists and subject matter specialists! Deep dive into the intricacies of resources, managing team dynamics, growing market share, and incorporating sustainability into business operations through the Breakthrough Fireside Chats with Entrepreneur series, which is in collaboration with Republic Polytechnic’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. 

The first session will explore key strategies and industry insights that are crucial to success in the competitive world of food and beverage entrepreneurship. 

11 May, Jurong Regional Library, Programme Zone, 3.00pm-4.30pm and Online via Zoom

Google Tools to Boost your Productivity | Breakthrough Workshop
Discover the latest Google tools and their uses to increase your efficiency at work and ease your workload. 



Wed, 15 May, 7pm – 8pm
Jurong Regional Library & Online via Zoom



Introduction to Live-Selling on Tik Tok | Breakthrough Workshop 
Find out more about the e-commerce landscape and learn simple ways to get started on live-selling on Tik Tok.

Conducted by Singapore Polytechnic Media, Arts & Design School 



Sat, 15 June, 2.00-3.30pm
National Library Building (Level 7), Launch Programme Room 



Innovation Nexus Connect | Breakthrough Pitching Event
Elevate your strategic initiatives and unearth unparalleled business opportunities at the Innovation Nexus Connect Series. The series is an extraordinary sharing and pitching event organised by Action Community for Entrepreneurship Ltd. 



Thu, 20 June, 2.00-5.30pm, The Pod (Level 16), National Library Building

Please refer to Eventbrite for more programmes at Launch.