Improving skills, adjusting expectations to keep up with times

August 22, 201612:30 pm343 views
Improving skills, adjusting expectations to keep up with times
Madam Janessa Puvaneswari Kumaran. Photo: MCI

SINGAPORE — After completing her O-Levels, Madam Janessa Puvaneswari Kumaran joined the PAP Community Foundation (PCF) as a pre-school teacher in 2001, but the changes in the education sector meant that she could not remain indifferent to them. Not only did she obtain a certificate in pre-school teaching a year after she began work, she also attained a Diploma in Early Childhood Care & Education-Teaching.

Now, the 32-year-old, a senior teacher at PCF Sparkletots Preschool @ Sengkang Central, has taken up a SkillsFuture Study Award to do an Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Leadership at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. “This industry is evolving, there are a lot of changes … we have to keep upgrading ourselves,” Mdm Janessa, who aspires to be a pre-school principal, said. She added that this was one way to “give back more to the industry”.

For their efforts to develop their work skills or take on new job challenges, Madam Janessa and two other people were mentioned by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally yesterday.

IT professional Gerard Peck, 55, left his job in 2011 as Citibank’s vice-president of information security and data privacy — 26 years after he joined the bank. At first, he wanted time to pursue his interests such as cooking and biking, but the urge to “stay engaged” and keep his intellectual functions going then spurred him to get a job last year.

When his job hunt went nowhere and thinking that his age worked against him, Mr Peck signed up for the Government’s Career Support Programme, which encourages firms to hire unemployed but experienced professionals, managers, executives and technicians. He was paired successfully with printing and mailing solutions firm DataPost, as head of its IT shared services.

Mr Peck, who started work in February, knew he could not command the same wages as before. “Being out of the workforce for a couple of years, if you want to go back in, expectations have to be rightly managed,” he said.

Ms Sarah Salim, 29, who was a graphic designer at a publishing firm, explained why she switched to work at the Government Technology Agency: “Things are moving into the digital interactive scene, so I thought maybe it’s a good time for me to join the new wave and learn a new skill.”


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