Seek ways to better engage senior workforce

I read with interest about how seniors in the heartland can get internships and part-time work opportunities through the People's Association's Senior Academy Golden Work Series ("More firms join Golden Work Series for seniors"; Aug 28).

Worthy of note is how POSB has recruited 90 of these seniors under its Active Neighbours Programme to get them to assist elderly customers and introduce them to time-saving practices, such as SMS alerts for queueing and using an ATM card instead of a passbook.

This role stands out as a job that is an ideal fit for seniors, who are in the best position to understand and address the issues faces by fellow seniors.

While the part-time and senior work pool readily fills up the labour shortfall in the retail and service industries, more can be done to recognise and stretch the capacity of the senior workforce and the elderly, to get them better-fitted jobs that tap their age, experience, skills and, at the same time, offer them the pay that they still need.

Heritage tour guides and customer service concierge for seniors could be positions that they may readily fill. They have been around to see the transformation of our local landscapes and there may also be demand for dialects that they know better than younger workers.

While we acknowledge that education and skills usually dictate the kind of jobs all workers get, there is room to explore more varied and substantial roles for seniors still engaged in the workforce.

Teo Mee Hong (Ms)