Month-long fair launched to help Singaporeans find jobs and training

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say (fourth from left) was the guest of honour at the launch of a month-long employability fair organised by e2i.
Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say (fourth from left) was the guest of honour at the launch of a month-long employability fair organised by e2i.PHOTO: E2I

SINGAPORE - A month-long employability fair in Jurong East with 5,000 vacancies on offer was launched on Wednesday.

Organised by the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), the event will bring together 500 employers from industries such as marine, banking and healthcare to offer jobs and attend seminars. There will also be lunchtime talks for workers by training providers at the e2i campus, along with other training and networking events.

"The pressing needs today are for the job seekers and workers to think about how to upgrade themselves to present a higher value-add to employers, and for employers to think about how to attract and retain the Singaporean core in their company and to have the best value for this workforce," said e2i chief executive Gilbert Tan.

The first event of the fair was a seminar on Wednesday afternoon for bosses from small and medium enterprises (SMEs), put up by e2i and training provider SeraphCorp Institute. Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say was the guest of honour, and the 95 attendees heard presentations from three start-up founders - Ms Grace Huang of Trifecta Martial Arts, Ms Gwen Lim of Patisserie G and HungryGoWhere founder Dennis Goh.

Several participants said after the session that it was helpful for them to take a step away from their businesses and take time to learn from others as well.

"We found it very inspiring to hear that we are not the only one facing challenges," said Spring Maternity founder and merchandising director Joey Kwa.

Before the event, e2i's Mr Tan told the media that the organisation, which is the training and placement arm of the National Trades Union Congress, will continue to strengthen and develop services for professionals, managers and executives in the year ahead.

It will also continue to work with SMEs to make their job opportunities more attractive to Singaporeans. SMEs, being domestic oriented, can offer stable jobs, said Mr Tan.

Last year, the institute disbursed a total of $34 million in government grants and helped more than 51,000 workers upgrade their skills, a 36 per cent increase from 2013. It placed over 1,100 job seekers into employment through place and train programmes.

Its Union Training Assistance Programme gave out over $1.85 million for some 17,500 union members to take up skills upgrading courses such as a diploma in business administration and the taxi vocational licence course. The institute also administers the Inclusive Growth Programme, which supported 1,680 projects as of end 2014.

joseow@sph.com.sg