SPH-ZBJ joint venture ties up with NYP on gig work project

(From left) ZomWork general manager Jason Teo, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing and Nanyang Polytechnic principal and chief executive Jeanne Liew at the signing of the memorandum of understanding at Pan Pacific Singapore yesterd
(From left) ZomWork general manager Jason Teo, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing and Nanyang Polytechnic principal and chief executive Jeanne Liew at the signing of the memorandum of understanding at Pan Pacific Singapore yesterday.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Online jobs portal ZomWork is linking up with Nanyang Polytechnic to help people develop skills for the "gig" economy.

ZomWork helps match job seekers and companies on a temporary or project basis. It is a joint venture between China's largest online freelancing platform, ZBJ Network, and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

The gig economy, referring to people doing part-time work, is growing fast, as is the demand for workers and managers.

The programme, announced yesterday at the signing of the memorandum of understanding at Pan Pacific Singapore, will consist of a series of trips to China, seen as a leader in this sort of work.

Participants will learn from Chinese companies and local government officials how to better leverage a model based on utilising freelancers and temporary workers.

The programme will be open to all interested participants, regardless of whether they are freelancers. They have to register through the polytechnic's Singapore Institute of Retail Studies' (SIRS') website. It costs about $7,000, but subsidies like SkillsFuture credits are available to those eligible. Other than the immersion programme, SIRS will also provide local courses to gig seekers and companies on ZomWork, in areas like entrepreneurship and cost-efficiency.

ZomWork general manager Jason Teo said yesterday: "As technology facilitates the ease of remote working and employers become more accustomed to managing contingent staff, the number of skilled professionals searching for gig work is sure to only grow in Singapore.

"To better help grow this new way of working here, we have looked to China - where the gig economy is already thriving - for inspiration."

SIRS director Megan Ong said: "We find that this partnership will provide the supply of talent and vice versa, because we are also helping individuals to contribute to the economy or to find jobs."

ZomWork's revamped website was also unveiled yesterday. The revamped site has introduced an escrow feature - where ZomWork acts as a neutral third party that holds and regulates payment of funds - and a webspace that records transactions and stores documents. ZomWork has about 150 registered gig seekers and 200 companies.

Mr Teo said: "Apart from being a platform for talent and companies to connect, we are deeply committed to providing the tools and skills upgrading needed to ensure everyone can benefit from this new world of work."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2018, with the headline 'SPH-ZBJ joint venture ties up with NYP on gig work project'. Print Edition | Subscribe