In Conversation with PA

If you have a strong sense of community and love to be involved in all aspects of society, then the People's Association (PA) Scholarship is tailor-made for you! Let's hear from the Group Director of People Cluster in PA on how you can shape the social landscape of Singapore and bring communities together as a PA Scholar.

How has your journey been like in PA?

PA is a big public service organisation. Besides the planning and policy work which is synonymous with the public sector, PA also has many touch points within the community. They include our Community Clubs/ Centres, Water Venture Centres, and Community Development Councils.

Anchored on a systematic approach in people development, PA officers are given opportunities to explore the different areas of work in PA. I was fortunate enough to have had stints in many branches of people engagement work. This had put me in a good stead when I helm more senior positions later in my career.

What are some of the challenges that leaders face in the work of PA?

Change is a constant in today's rapidly evolving world. People are more distracted with a buffet of engagement options. This resulted in a decline in grassroots volunteers and people participation at the community level. PA must constantly evolve our volunteerism framework and people engagement methodology to remain relevant and attractive.

As a frontline public agency, PA is also subjected to the higher expectations of today's citizenry. We have to step up and keep up with our service standards at all times. Thus, the push for innovation and the adoption of digital aids is critical for PA moving forward.

Tell us about the unique opportunities incoming PA Scholars can look forward to.

PA Scholars can look forward to a meaningful career, where they will play a crucial role in shaping the community and fostering stronger bonds among our people. They also have the flexibility to choose one or more areas that they are passionate about, from youth development, active ageing, community sports, arts and culture, to community service and leadership and more.

For a start, PA Scholars will walk the ground to understand the aspirations and concerns of people in our community. Subsequently, they will also have opportunities to work in various strategic divisions at PA-HQ, collaborating with policy and decision makers to develop, plan and implement essential programmes and policies for the community.

In short, PA Scholars can look forward to a multitude of exciting and diverse opportunities! These experiences will enable them to acquire and enhance both tangible and intangible skills through community projects, collaborations and interactions with community leaders, PA senior management and various stakeholders.

Apart from the requisite academic qualifications, what other qualities should PA Scholars possess?

Our aim is to build leaders who are well-grounded and connected to the heart of the community.

The PA scholarship programme hopes to attract those who are passionate about community and social development and has the heart to make a difference.

Any words of advice that you would like to share with applicants and future scholars?

You must truly like working with people from all walks of life.

You should be prepared to get your hands 'dirty' at the frontline.

You want to be a proud member of the Singapore Public Service where you will contribute towards fostering a cohesive and harmonious society.

Jasmine Kwok

Jasmine Kwok

Group Director (People Group)
People's Association