|Screening helps women job seekers|
|Monday, 02 March 2009 08:00|
That was because the organisers had already contacted her earlier to confirm that she had the work experience and educational qualifications for the hotel and sales positions that she was interested in.
This new 'screening' process, ahead of when job fairs are held, is to ensure that there will be a better fit between job seekers and employers when such events are held, said National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) deputy secretary-general Halimah Yacob.
It is the latest move being adopted by the NTUC Women's Development Secretariat, which she heads, to help more women return to the workforce.
A related step is to ensure that there is better follow-up action once a job seeker links up with an employer, she told reporters after touring the job fair at the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).This means checking with employers if the women they shortlisted will need training - say in English literacy skills - and then helping put them through a relevant course, she explained.
Yesterday, some 2,000 women turned up at the fair, where firms were seeking to fill 900 vacancies in jobs such as food and beverage crews and retail assistants.Elaborating on the screening process, a Women's Development Secretariat spokesman said women in its database were informed about the fair in advance.
Community Development Councils also put the word out to jobless residents. There were also advertisements placed in The Straits Times' Classifieds section which specified the available positions, job scope and educational qualifications.Each of the 1,800 women who registered with the Secretariat were contacted. Their details and preferences were double-checked and their suitability for the jobs on offer was assessed.
'It's better to be screened first,' said Ms Yeo, 32, who made the one-hour journey by MRT from her Hougang flat to the job fair in Bukit Merah. She lost her job as a sales promoter last month.
At the fair, professional home-cleaning service Amahs On Wheels made her an immediate offer to be a cleaner, starting on Monday. Ms Yeo said she would do it part-time first, just to see if she could manage. While she was successful, there were others who were not so lucky.Amahs On Wheels manager Rebecca Lim found that seven out of the first 10 applicants she interviewed were unsuitable. Some were unwilling to travel too far for work. Others told her they could not start immediately.
Henderson Security, which was hiring administrative assistants, found that a number of applicants lacked basic computer know-how.The Popular bookstore chain said that 120 of the first 130 applicants who were interviewed could not communicate well.'We have vacancies in the multimedia and English book departments. But they didn't know what was a thumb drive or a CD-ROM, and had no interest in English books,' senior human resource executive Josephine Lim explained.
This article was first published in The Straits Times.