Improved career guidance for former inmates re-entering job market

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.
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.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - 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 on Thursday (April 19).

Mrs Teo, who was guest-of-honour at the annual SPS-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 of them 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."

Mrs Teo added that SCORE must constantly re-assess the effectiveness of its job preparation and ensure inmates not only get employed, but have what it takes to stay in employment and progress.

There are more than 5,000 employers registered with SCORE.

As part of the new initiatives, workshop supervisors will be trained in motivational interviewing techniques.

Additional reporting by Ervin Tan