Stepped-up career help for students and workers
Career support will be made more accessible to students mulling over career options and workers who are between jobs through a new U Career Network (UCN).
It was set up by the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), the job and training arm of the National Trades Union Congress, which hopes to help workers "jump through the different phases in their career and life cycles", labour chief Chan Chun Sing wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.
Elaborating on the UCN yesterday, e2i CEO Gilbert Tan said the network will comprise career coaches, industry mentors who can share their experiences, and volunteer "employability ambassadors" who will guide peers to training resources.
"It's about having that knowledge such that if my neighbour loses his job, if my fellow engineer loses his job, I know what to do," Mr Tan told reporters yesterday.
With touchpoints within the network, such as family service centres and the institutes of higher learning, more people will be able to access career services.
Said Mr Tan: "The U Career Network will bring everyone together to help Singaporeans raise their employability and prepare for jobs of tomorrow throughout their careers."
Career advice will come in handy for those facing prolonged unemployment and need an unbiased perspective, said Madam Minna Foo, a principal employability coach at e2i.
She told The New Paper: "Sometimes, when you're down and out for a while, even your closest relatives may... add to your burden. Talking to a neutral party may be good."
She recalled helping a stay-home mum who had to go back to work due to "unfortunate circumstances".
The accountant, whose skills had become outdated after not working for five years, needed help not just with her resume and interview skills, but also emotionally.
Said Madam Foo: "Emotionally, she wasn't strong enough. We gave her encouragement and boosted her confidence."
In her nine years as a career coach, Madam Foo has helped her fair share of fresh graduates as well.
She said: "They were unsure whether the information they were presenting about themselves was good enough. They needed an extra pair of eyes to check.
"There were also instances when they realised their course of studies was not what they wanted and hoped to jump into something else."