Beware of courses claiming to be job placements

As the global economic climate changes, Singapore's economy is slowing down, resulting in job losses.

With this, there are more people transiting into different jobs. A proportion of these may be looking for freelance or part-time roles while looking for a permanent position.

This is a vulnerable group which could be taken advantage of.

There has been anecdotal evidence recently of courses dressed up as job placements on job portals. These courses describe the trainee's role and promise a relatively high income after the courses are completed.

However, trainees are required to foot the bill for the cost of their training, and they often find out later that there are very few job opportunities in the market.

Most participants end up wasting their time and course fees, which could have been better used in finding a permanent role.

To avoid falling into such a position, there are three things jobseekers should do.

First, they must look out for the amount of upfront payment required.

Second, they should ask about the job opportunities and industry collaborations of the firm.

Third, they should ask for testimonials or contacts of previous participants, who will often have a good feel of the job potential after the course.

Being jobless is a difficult situation, and these courses offer a glimmer of hope. But one must be cautious or one might end up in a worse situation.

Chua Shunjie (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2017, with the headline 'Beware of courses claiming to be job placements'. Print Edition | Subscribe