Chance to hone skills and make services more family-friendly

Dr Faishal touring The Grandstand - formerly Turf City Grandstand - yesterday to view its enhanced family-friendly facilities. The mall is one of the seven recipients of an MSF grant given to neighbourhood malls last year to help them make their faci
Dr Faishal touring The Grandstand - formerly Turf City Grandstand - yesterday to view its enhanced family-friendly facilities. The mall is one of the seven recipients of an MSF grant given to neighbourhood malls last year to help them make their facilities more family-friendly.PHOTO: DON WONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Front-line service staff will be able to learn skills such as how to interact with children, or seniors with dementia, to make their services more family-friendly.

Corporate leaders and service staff in leadership roles can also learn how to plan businesses to better cater to the needs of families.

These skills will be taught in Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications courses, under an initiative by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the NTUC LearningHub.

The family-friendly service training courses will be open to all businesses and individuals. Course fees will range from $200 to $500, with registration open by year end.

Dr Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Social and Family Development, called the initiative "win-win", citing the benefits that families and businesses stand to reap from a family-friendly environment.

"By addressing the needs of shoppers and, for example, ensuring that people feel at ease when their elders' needs are met, people will feel like visiting these shopping malls again," Dr Faishal said.

Yesterday, Dr Faishal toured the former Turf City Grandstand, now called The Grandstand, to view its enhanced family-friendly facilities. These include a foot reflexology footpath for the elderly and a cosy corner where parents can wait in comfort for their children to finish classes at education centres in the mall.

The announcement of the courses comes a week after the Universal Design Mark for Family-Friendly Businesses was announced. It will be awarded to businesses that have incorporated the needs of families into their facilities and services.

Yesterday, the MSF also gave an update on a grant given to neighbourhood malls last year to help them make their facilities more family-friendly. Seven malls have received the grant, including City Square Mall and Tiong Bahru Plaza.


Correction note: A previous version of the article referred to the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications courses as Singapore Workforce Skills courses. This has been corrected. We are sorry for the error.  

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2016, with the headline 'Chance to hone skills and make services more family-friendly'. Print Edition | Subscribe