Tampines heartland businesses hold job fair for people who want work near home

Two residents talking to recruiters at the job fair organised by the North East Community Development Council at Hougang Central Court on 16 April 2014. Small businesses in Tampines, who have been finding it hard to hire workers, were given a he
Two residents talking to recruiters at the job fair organised by the North East Community Development Council at Hougang Central Court on 16 April 2014. Small businesses in Tampines, who have been finding it hard to hire workers, were given a helping hand on Wednesday at a specialised job fair. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Small businesses in Tampines, that have been finding it hard to hire workers, were given a helping hand on Wednesday at a specialised job fair.

Organised by the North East Community Development Council to help match people to jobs near their homes, the recruitment drive saw more than 262 job vacancies on offer from eight employers, including coffee shop stalls and YES Supermarket.

The fair at Eastlink Mall Linkway from 10am to 3pm is the second of three planned for the district. By the end of the day, the merchants had received 142 job applications and offered 26 people jobs on the spot and another 39 are under consideration.

North East District Mayor Teo Ser Luck said that his office would follow up with the job applicants and would try to place those who were unsuccessful on the district's Community Employment Programme or on financial assistance if applicable.

"We need to encourage more people to apply for jobs at these businesses close to home, and also encourage both the employers and workers to give each other a chance," said Mr Teo, who is Minister of State for Trade and Industry and chairs the government-led Small and Medium Enterprises Workgroup.

He added: "Sometimes, even if the employers select (workers), they don't turn up. Businesses must also have a good operating environment and start with proper training to ease the new workers into the company."

Such fairs can help small players who may not have resources to do publicity and raise brand awareness, said MP for Tampines GRC Baey Yam Keng at the event. "It's also about bringing jobs close to home so it's more convenient for residents."

One Tampines resident visiting the fair was housewife Jasmine Loh, 50, who stopped working 17 years ago when she had her second child.

"I decided it's time for me to rejoin the workforce since my kids are grown up," said the former accounts clerk who was looking for a part-time administrative job. "I've so much time at home so it gets a bit boring, and with a job I can earn some income for the family."