MOM should help workers recover fees

I welcome the Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) revocation of accreditation for errant training firms ("Certs without test? Workers have to retrain"; Sunday).

But what happens now?

Companies and workers base their choice of training firms on MOM's accreditation scheme.

Hence, the MOM has to bear some responsibility.

As reported, the $500 fee for the course that the worker forked out is almost one month of his salary.

The number of affected workers is estimated to be at least 1,000 since the beginning of last year, which is not a small figure.

That such scams are uncovered is, in large part, attributed to the victims' willingness to come forward. These workers should be commended as whistleblowers, instead of being punished by having to pay the fees twice.

MOM should help to claw back the fees paid. Going forward, it should also tighten its accreditation criteria and procedures.

MOM also cannot let training firms play the cat-and-mouse game of stationing guards to alert trainers of MOM officers.

How about having closed-circuit television cameras installed in classrooms? They can also be used to facilitate improvements in the training programmes' syllabuses.

Seow Joo Heng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2015, with the headline 'MOM should help workers recover fees'. Print Edition | Subscribe