New community employment programme in North East District

Jobseekers at Careers Connect.
Jobseekers at Careers Connect.ST PHOTO: DON WONG

SINGAPORE - Jobseekers keen to work near their homes can find job openings through a new programme in the North East District.

Their employers will also receive funding support from statutory board Workforce Singapore (WSG) to train new hires for the first three months of employment.

The three-month pilot run of the Recruit, Reskill, Retain (R³) programme by WSG, North East Community Development Council (CDC) and Our Tampines Hub was launched on Wednesday (July 26) by Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo.

Mrs Teo said the pilot is part of efforts to make job matching more effective.

"The idea was to have...employment facilitation that is targeted at people who prefer to look for jobs within their community because they may have family commitments and don't want to work too far away.

"At the same time, we also want to be able to help the employers within the community access a wider pool of talent," she told reporters at the event.

Under the scheme, jobseekers can register at WSG's career centre Careers Connect at Our Tampines Hub and be brought to visit employers to learn about the job roles and work environment, as well as attend onsite interviews.

If they are hired, their employers can receive a full subsidy from WSG for the first three months to send them for foundational skills training like workplace literacy and numeracy.

Employers can also get subsidies of up to 90 per cent to send these workers for industry or occupational skills training during that time.

WSG will provide free career advisory services for fresh hires and their reporting supervisors for the first three months, to help the new workers settle into their jobs.

So far, five companies including IT company Neurones IT Asia, supermarket chain Giant and bus operator Go-Ahead Singapore are on board for the pilot run of the programme.

Mrs Teo said the aim is to reach at least 600 jobseekers over the next few months, and the scheme can be replicated in other districts if it is effective.

North East District mayor Desmond Choo said the CDC is working to engage the 15,000 employers in the district - which comprises Tampines, Pasir Ris-Punggol and Aljunied GRCs as well as Hougang and Punggol East SMCs - to encourage them to join the scheme.

At Our Tampines Hub, Mrs Teo also opened the revamped Careers Connect- one of three career centres run by WSG. The other two are in Paya Lebar and Woodlands.

A one-day career fair is also being held on Wednesday (July 26) at Careers Connect in Tampines, with close to 80 jobs on offer in the North East District paying between $2,500 and $7,000. Positions available include business analyst, human resource executive and engineering supervisor.

Tampines resident Lim Luck Cher, 50, resigned from her job as an assistant manager in a precision engineering company three years ago to help look after her disabled mother. She got to learn more about Giant hypermarket in Tampines on Wednesday as part of the programme.

She is hoping to find a job near home with a less stressful work schedule so she can care for her mother in the afternoons.

"The tour was helpful because I saw that the work experience is quite similar (to mine). Here you need to understand the products well to explain to customers, like in my past job," said Ms Lim.

Giant Singapore's head of human resources Iming Bahari said she is looking to fill about 30 positions across their headquarters and 20 stores in the North East District through the programme.

"Retail isn't the most glamorous industry so it's not easy to attract staff, but people can try out the job scopes and they may find it's not what they thought it would be like," she said.

Separately, Mrs Teo gave an update on the work done so far to improve job matching in the five priority sectors which she is overseeing.

She said she and the four Senior Ministers of State involved in the effort announced last week have been working closely with the respective sector agencies.

In the financial and insurance services sector, for example, jobs and skills are central to the Monetary Authority of Singapore's latest workplan, she said.

"We have to make sure that agencies have it at the top of their agenda in all of their workplans," she said, adding that she will share more about further plans at a media briefing next week.