SINGAPORE - More internships and part-time work will be available to seniors in the heartlands, as the number of companies offering such opportunities through a community programme has more than doubled.
People's Association (PA) announced on Thursday that 10 new companies were joining the seven existing ones under its Senior Academy Golden Work Series.
The jobs offered by the new partners, which include bank POSB, Japanese fast food chain Yoshinoya, and Pet Lovers Centre, will add 100 vacancies to the programme.
Launched this April, the Golden Work programme offers job skills-related workshops to seniors, who can then go on to try for internships, part-time or light work opportunities at partner companies. Seniors can earn between $5 to $8 an hour from this work.
To date, 560 people have signed up for courses and 20per cent of the available job opportunities have been taken up.
The PA is also expanding the programme to 15 community centres (CC), up from 10 previously.
More than 500 seniors attended a programme showcase at Potong Pasir CC on Thursday, where they got to try their hands at courses such as mocktail making and basic banking.
Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, grassroots adviser for Potong Pasir, who was the event's guest-of-honour, said he felt the programme was especially useful in a mature estate like Potong Pasir.
He said: "Many of our elderly, health permitting,would like to carry on working, meet new friends and earn some pocket money as well."
New partner POSB will be leveraging on the Golden Work series to expand their own Active Neighbours Programme from 70 seniors to 90.
These part-time employees assist elderly customers and introduce them to time-saving practices, such as SMS alerts for queuing, or how to use an ATM card instead of a passbook. They can earn about $8 an hour, working a few hours on around three days a week.
POSB managing director Derrick Goh said: "Our elderly customers have taken to these Active Neighbours well, as they see them as their peers. The bank may seem like a cold place but this makes it a warmer place to do transactions, so they don't feel so scared coming to the branch."
Another new partner, Serenity Spanish Bar and Restaurant, will be offering between 22 and 26 vacancies at their two outlets.
General manager Nikko Thalawathugoda said: "We always have a shortage of staff, and this will help us during the peak period of October to Chinese New Year."
Madam P. Indira Thevy, 63, joined a tea appreciation course about three months ago, and scored a part-time job with tea company Tea Ideas, where she packs tea and recommends brews to customers at roadshows.
Madam Indira, who retired from her job in technology diagnostics six to seven years ago, said she joined Senior Academy because she was "very bored at home".
"My four daughters give me pocket money, but I want to be able to spend my own money when I go out. It's very enjoyable work and I've learnt a lot about how tea helps us."