Sporting prospects: More firms give app post-sport support

Former shuttler Derek Wong finds the scheme's flexible arrangements useful, as they help athletes adjust to life after competition. With him is his father Wong Shoon Keat, the 1983 SEA Games singles champion.
Former shuttler Derek Wong finds the scheme's flexible arrangements useful, as they help athletes adjust to life after competition. With him is his father Wong Shoon Keat, the 1983 SEA Games singles champion.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Another nine join spexBusiness scheme; new tie-up helps match athletes with employers

Singapore archer Madeleine Ong is a first-year sports studies and marketing student hoping to land a marketing job in the sport industry.

The 22-year-old will get a head start on her peers thanks to the Sports Excellence Business (spexBusiness) scheme, which pairs local athletes with employers.

To top it off, she can now submit her job application and get updates seamlessly via a mobile application.

Yesterday, the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) announced that it is partnering local tech start-up Jobook Singapore, which launched a free job-matching app last year.

All an athlete needs to do is fill up a form and the app will match them with suitable employers based on his or her education, experience and skills.

They can even schedule interviews on the app.

  • SPEX BUSINESS PARTNERS

    • Adecco

    • adidas

    • Amore Fitness

    • Banyan Tree Holdings

    • Borneo Motors Singapore

    • CapitaLand

    • Charles & Keith Group

    • DBS Bank

    • Deloitte Singapore

    • DHL Supply Chain

    • Enterprise Sports Group

    • Fonterra Brands Singapore & Fonterra SEA

    • Foo Kon Tan LLP

    • Fox Networks Group

    • Fuji Xerox Singapore

    • Fullerton Healthcare Group

    • FutuReady Asia

    • HP Inc

    • Hyflux

    • Jobook

    • KPMG

    • MOH Holdings

    • MSIG Insurance

    • NTUC Fairprice Co-operatives

    • OCBC Bank

    • One Championship

    • Osim International

    • Pan Pacific Hotels Group

    • Pacific International Lines

    • PSB Academy

    • Raffles Medical Group

    • Resorts World Sentosa

    • Sakae Holdings

    • SAS Institute

    • SMRT Corporation

    • Sports Link Holdings

    • StarHub

    • The Fullerton Hotel

    • Volkswagen Group Singapore

Ong said: "It's a very convenient platform for athletes to submit their job applications. I think it's important to find a job that matches your skills and interest because it will help you excel."

Athletes also need to enter a link code, which will allow them to be paired with any of the spexBusiness network partners.

SpexBusiness, launched in 2013, matches national athletes with prospective employers who offer flexible working arrangements such as time off for training and competitions.

It runs alongside the Sports Excellence Education scheme, which has 10 partners and which aims to offers student-athletes flexibility.

To date, some 500 national athletes have benefited from these initiatives, including 92 who have found employment with partners.

Yesterday, SSI also unveiled nine new spexBusiness partners.

The scheme now has 39 partners from 22 industries including information technology, finance and retail.

Former national shuttler Derek Wong, who retired last year, is one beneficiary of the initiative.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist joined Deloitte as a research analyst in 2014 and was given flexi-work arrangements to cope with his punishing schedule.

Wong, 28, is now a junior audit associate with Deloitte. He said: "I could work from home after training and was given special leave to compete overseas. This gives us peace of mind while we're juggling both sport and work.

"It also helps us transit better to life after competing."

OCBC Bank is one of spexBusiness' nine new partners.

Its head of human resource planning, Jacinta Low, called it a "mutually enriching" tie-up and added: "Athletes are able to apply the transferable life skills and values they have learnt and contribute positively to our workplace and add to the diversity of our talent pool."

Yesterday's event also saw SSI collaborate with Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to launch the SSI-e2i Career Coaching Network, which will offer career guidance to national athletes.

In addition, three institutes of higher learning have signed up with the Sports Excellence Education scheme, which aims to offers student-athletes flexibility at school.

Para-sailor Yap Qian Yin, who landed a job with the Pan Pacific Hotels Group through spexBusiness, said these could convince more to choose the monastic life of an elite athlete.

The 2016 Paralympian said: "It's a win-win situation. As athletes there's always a fear we'd get overlooked because of our schedules. Now employers can see our CV at one glance and also give us the flexibility we need."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2017, with the headline 'More firms give app post-sport support'. Print Edition | Subscribe