Helping ex-offenders Score employment

Job profiling, performance coaching among moves to help improve employment chances

For many workers, the fast-changing labour market is a great concern. For prisoners re-entering society after years out of the job market, it poses an even greater challenge.

In an effort to improve their chances of finding work, the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (Score) has enhanced its career guidance for inmates. A series of "rehabilitative-focused" initiatives will be carried out through programmes such as job profiling - which matches prisoners to industries they are interested in - and performance coaching.

This will help them to draw up career development plans, understand their strengths and ensure a better fit in industries with a rising demand for employment, such as food and beverage, and logistics.

These initiatives will be carried out within the various prison workshops this year, Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo announced yesterday.

Mrs Teo, who was guest of honour at the annual Singapore Prison Service-Score Corporate Advance event, described the difficulty inmates have in "securing any job, let alone a good job" upon release.

"About 30 per cent of our inmates have only education levels of primary school or even less," she said, adding that many also have limited vocational skills and work experience. "Score has done well in training inmates and matching them to employers. But aspirations among ex-offenders are also rising."

She added Score must constantly re-assess the effectiveness of its job preparation and ensure inmates not only get employed, but also have what it takes to stay in employment and progress. There are over 5,000 employers registered with Score.

Workshop supervisors will also be trained in motivational interviewing techniques.

• Additional reporting by Ervin Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2018, with the headline 'Helping ex-offenders Score employment'. Print Edition | Subscribe