New programme for ex-convicts to upgrade skills and find work launched on Saturday

A new programme was launched on Saturday to help ex-convicts upgrade their skills and find work.

They will get help enrolling in heavily subsidised training courses, during which those without a job will get an allowance. After completing a course, they will be matched to employers.

The Soar (Strengthening Opportunities, Advocating Resilience) Programme is expected to help 375 ex-offenders within the next two years.

It is the first partnership between the Industrial and Services Co-operative Society (Iscos), a social organisation that helps ex-offenders reintegrate, and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

The programme was revealed at a job fair organised by Iscos at the Singapore Anti-Narcotic Association in Sengkang, where the programme's initial employer and training partners set up booths.

These include the National Parks Board's Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology, which offers landscaping training courses, and the AAT Training Hub, which conducts forklift training. Employers include foodcourt operator Koufu, food caterer The Wok People, and recruitment agency Prime Human Resource.