North East CDC holds job fair to find workers for small heartland businesses

Mayor of North East CDC Teo Ser Luck chats with job applicants Madam Mary Tan, 70, and Mr Ser Ah Chin, 44, at a recruitment Drive by North East CDC to promote employment opportunities that are available within the heartlands for the local residents a
Mayor of North East CDC Teo Ser Luck chats with job applicants Madam Mary Tan, 70, and Mr Ser Ah Chin, 44, at a recruitment Drive by North East CDC to promote employment opportunities that are available within the heartlands for the local residents at Hougang Central Court, on April 16, 2014. Small businesses in the heartlands have trouble finding workers, while job-seekers may not know of work available near their homes. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM CP

Small businesses in the heartlands have trouble finding workers, while job-seekers may not know of work available near their homes.

A job fair for heartland businesses, believed to be the first of its kind in Singapore, aimed to change this.

Held in Hougang Central Court by the North East Community Development Council (CDC) on Wednesday, the event sought to help 11 small businesses, such as hawker centre stalls and coffee shops, fill 226 positions.

Mayor of North East District Teo Ser Luck was at the event and had a short dialogue over coffee with some of the merchants. "Coffee shops find it very hard to find labour nowadays, and within the community, there's a lot of job-seekers in my database as well," he said, explaining the rationale behind the recruitment drive.

"A lot of (the job-seekers) are elderly, or they could be in their 40s and started to get retrenched, or (the) small businesses they worked in closed down," added Mr Teo, who is also Minister of State for Trade and Industry.

Businesses at the fair include Seng Huat Coffee House, which was looking to hire 15 workers, for positions such as coffee shop assistant, dishwasher and cleaner; another employer is a nasi lemak stall from the Block 511 Bedok North Street 3 Food Centre, which needed to get one stall helper.

On the cards are at least two more of such job fairs, to be held this year in Tampines and Pasir Ris-Punggol. Around 60 people had put in job applications by the end of the Hougang event.

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