Pilot plan to match and train creative freelancers

Creative freelancers are one of the fastest-growing communities of freelancers. But many junior freelancers could face extra hurdles, such as not knowing how to negotiate with clients.

A pilot programme unveiled yesterday aims to help by matching freelancers to companies. Through attachments, they undergo training and mentorship while working on projects that can help them build up their portfolios.

This Attach and Train Programme (ATP) is led by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i). It hopes to match 20 freelancers in areas such as film, animation and design to companies over the next two years.

NTUC secretary-general Chan Chun Sing told reporters at a creative industry event that the labour movement is beefing up support for freelancers in other industries too. "Having such a structured mentorship will allow freelancers to acquire skills faster," he said.

NTUC is looking at how it can better support creative freelancers to achieve success internationally, such as by benchmarking work through peer review or appraisals, he added.

Five companies have come on board the ATP. They include mm2 Entertainment and branding and design agency Black. The Association of Independent Producers Singapore (Aipro) will screen and match candidates to participating host companies. Among other criteria, candidates must have graduated from their highest qualification for not more than two years.

The company must assign a mentor to the freelancer, and send a representative to attend a WDA-approved workshop for mentors.

Mr Jackson Tan, creative director of Black, said such a scheme could improve the prospects of the industry. "Junior freelancers might put themselves in a disadvantaged position or practise in a way that might actually cause harm to the industry, such as the rates they charge and the way they conduct themselves," he explained.

For details and applications, contact Aipro at enquiries@aipro.tv

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2016, with the headline 'Pilot plan to match and train creative freelancers'. Print Edition | Subscribe