New Programme Launched to Help Women Return to the Workforce

August 21, 201710:24 am1142 views

In a bid to encourage women and mothers to return to the workforce and fill current talent crunch, a second organisation will link employers with the Ministry of Manpower’s new scheme for companies that offer a ‘returnship’ program for talents.

Named as Re:Launch, the programme to help women who took a career back adjust back to the workforce was launched by Career Navigators, an arm of social enterprise Mums@Work on Wednesday (Aug 16). The new grant was specifically aimed for female professionals, managers, executives, and technicians (PMETs) who have not been working for at least two years, Straits Times Reports.

The scheme was initiated several weeks after the National Trades Union Congress’ U Family Unit announced its Returners Program, which will also administer the grant. One major benefit offered by the scheme is partial government funding for training allowances for new hires who meet the criteria for eligible participants.

Participants of Career Re: Launch is required to apply for jobs on a trial basis. Before they start working, they will be sent to attend short training modules on business and technology to keep them updated with the latest knowledge and skills in the industries. In addition, they will also be paired with younger mentors from the team they will be joining. Through this method, it is expected that they can exchange ideas and perspectives.

After work trial period for 12 weeks, employers will provide staff with a monthly training allowance of at least $ 2,500 during the program. They can apply for a Government grant for $ 1,500 of this amount for up to six months.

If the program succeeds, employers that retain new hires for at least three months after the trial work are entitled to a one-off $ 3,000 retention bonus from the Government. This grant will be given nine months after the start of the trial work.

See: Over Half Willing to Accept Pay Cut to Stay Employed: Survey Findings

Earlier this year, a study conducted by recruitment firm Robert Walters revealed that 72 percent women surveyed in Singapore said that they have taken a career break at some point in their lives.

Mums@Work founder Sher-Li Torrey stated that such women “often get drowned out by the currently working group when it comes to getting headhunters’ or recruiters’ attention”. “But they just need a couple of months and some training to come back on board,” she said, adding that they will bring valuable skills and diversity to companies upon going back to the workforce.

The programme’s first two runs are set to start in October and next January, targeting 12 places per run. It is open to female Singaporeans aged 30 and above who have at least a diploma qualification.

Individuals and employers who are interested in signing up the programme can visit www.careerrelaunchprogramme.com for more details. Applications open on Monday (Aug 21).

During a career fair held by Career Navigators at The Working Capitol in Keong Saik Road, about 130 women were learning about the scheme and its benefits. Employers who attended the event included Mastercard, Airbnb and PwC.

Read also: Singapore Workers Less Satisfied with Employers than Global Average: Survey Findings

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