SINGAPORE: Over 2,000 job-seekers are expected to show up at a career fair this weekend organised by Sense (Social Enterprise Network Singapore) - the social enterprise arm of Malay-Muslim self-help group Mendaki.
Jobs are targeted to help three specific groups - low-skilled workers, those aspiring to be Professionals, Managers, and Executives, as well as women looking to go back to work.
As a guest services executive at a hotel, Ms Siti Nadiah Abdul Kadir took home less than S$2,000 each month.
But after she went through a skills upgrading course, the ITE graduate moved on to work in the aviation industry and now earns S$1,000 more.
Ms Siti Nadiah said: "For me to move on from hospitality to aviation industry is a big step. It wasn't an easy step but fortunately, I did the first step, and here I am, very happy with myself.
“The difficulty, is the first step, like I said. You have to go through a lot of trainings; you have to find out a lot about trainings. It's all about researching and finding where is the correct path for you to go for."
Mendaki Sense - which helps workers and job-seekers get skills training, hopes there can be more success stories like hers. And the first step is to get companies to offer better pay.
General manager of Mendaki Sense, Shenaz Poonawala said: "Singapore has enjoyed three years of consecutive good economy. It's time we help our workers get better pay and employers also need to recognise that workers do need more salary, take-home pay to cope with the inflation that Singapore is experiencing of 4 per cent, 5 per cent a year."
Some 20 employers across sectors like healthcare, hospitality, F&B, and retail at the job fair have been carefully selected and offer low-skilled workers a minimum monthly wage of S$1,200 and a minimum of S$1,800 for those who want to be Professionals, Managers, and Executives.
Speaker of Parliament Madam Halimah Yacob, who was guest-of-honour at the event, said job fairs like these complement the efforts of the government.
"We really need to look at how to increase, enhance the quality of jobs that we have today. And also the enhancement to the WIS, the WTS - the Workfare Training Scheme, there are all these enhancements done, but yet if we don't have enhancements in the jobs, helping people get into the jobs, and to stay, then all these schemes, the Budget, the government is allocating to boost the status and income of low-skilled workers will be quite ineffective," she said.
Job-seekers can also sign up for skills training at the job fair this weekend.
Mendaki Sense hopes to be able to hold such job fairs twice a year, with the next one slated to take place in September. - CNA/ck
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