Mothers looking to return to workforce will have access to 35 courses to pick up skills

In a 2017 survey of 40,000 of its members, Mums@Work found several factors stood in the way of mothers returning to work, including fear of changing work environment and generational diversity. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - From blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) to tips on how to start a home enterprise, mothers looking to return to the workforce will have a range of courses to choose from starting this month.

In all, 35 courses, including nine that are new, have been curated as part of a partnership between Ngee Ann Polytechnic and social enterprise Mums @ Work, with the two organisations signing a memorandum of understanding on Monday (Oct 7).

In a 2017 survey of 40,000 of its members, Mums @ Work found several factors stood in the way of mothers returning to work.

They included: age; technological and skills gaps; lack of confidence; fear of changing work environment; and generational diversity.

This, despite more than 80 per cent of its members having more than eight years of work experience in mostly white-collar jobs in banking and finance, media and entertainment, and human resources.

Close to half were formerly in managerial positions as well.

Most of the 35 courses on offer focus on digital skills, and include 15 short courses which take between half a day and eight weeks to complete.

They include: professional image makeover; developing a digital portfolio; starting a home enterprise; and insights on emerging technologies, including blockchain and smart contracts, AI and robotics.

The remaining 20 online courses will arm the mothers with professional skills for specific industries such as healthcare and landscaping.

Among the short courses is Bootcamp in Digital Marketing and Branding, which is offered as an eight-week SkillsFuture Work-Study Programme.

This fast-track programme enables participants to learn the essentials of digital marketing, and guarantees them job interviews with Ngee Ann Polytechnic's network of industry partners, including e-commerce companies and marketing agencies.

Over 60 per cent of participants in the past secured a placement with the industry partners.

Ms Christy Chung, director of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's Continuing Education and Training Academy, said: "As a mother of five, I had been away from work for extended periods five times over.

"I can fully understand that the days leading up to returning to work may be daunting."

"I am thus grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with Mums @ Work to co-curate learning itineraries for mumpreneurs and returning mums."

"Whether they are restarting, reanchoring or rediscovering their careers, there is an itinerary for each of them," she added.

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