West Coast residents can access 'Job Stations', get advice from 'Volunteer Career Navigators' at 5 CCs

"This is something that is not about an election, but it's about meeting the needs of our residents", Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran said.

Nigel Chua | July 05, 2020, 04:21 PM

Residents in West Coast GRC will be able to access "Job Stations" and get help from Volunteer Career Navigators (VCNs) at five Community Centres/ Clubs (CCs).

The job stations allow residents to search and apply for jobs, if they find it more difficult to do so from home.

These stations allow job seekers to create a personal profile and apply for jobs without needing a resume.

Job Station at West Coast CC. Photo by Fasiha Nazren.

They will be available at these five CCs:

  1. Ayer Rajah
  2. Boon Lay
  3. Telok Blangah
  4. The Frontier
  5. West Coast

Volunteer Career Navigators (VCNs)

At the five CCs, those looking for jobs, retraining, or upskilling, will also be assisted by over 100 volunteers who were certified as Volunteer Career Navigators (VCNs) in a Zoom ceremony held at the July 5 event.

Minister for Communications and Information, S Iswaran, together with Advisers to Ayer Rajah, Boon Lay, Pioneer and Telok Blangah Grassroots Organisations (GROs). Photo by Fasiha Nazren.

The VCNs have been trained to provide in-person career guidance and advice, and to connect job seekers to opportunities.

They will also refer job seekers who require more in-depth career coaching services to nearby career centres, such as one at Jurong East.

According to a press release by the West Coast Constituency Office, the introduction of VCNs and Job Stations are new initiatives that follow up from the JOBS Programme, which was started by the following entities:

  • West Coast GRC and Pioneer SMC
  • The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)
  • The Employment and Employability Institute (e2i)
  • The South West Community Development Council (CDC)

"Jobs & Skills Discovery" sessions

The Job Stations were unveiled at a "Jobs & Skills Discovery" session at West Coast CC on July 5.

These sessions, which involve "a wide range of employment-related activities, including opportunities for on-the-spot interviews with potential employers", will happen at the five CCs on a weekly basis from July 18 to Aug. 8.

The press release stated that safe management measures will be in place at such events, to ensure the safety and well-being of members of public, volunteers and staff.

Foo Mee Har, who is standing for re-election in West Coast GRC, and who is also the Grassroots Adviser to Ayer Rajah Grassroots Organisations, spoke to the media after the event.

She said that the Jobs Stations were "very cool", highlighting the fact that the Jobs Stations can be operated in three languages, namely, English, Chinese, and Malay.

She added that they allow job seekers to find opportunities within a 3km radius, which can be expanded to show up more opportunities.

Foo said that community-led initiatives have "a lot more power" as compared to the Career Centres run by Workforce Singapore, and that the initiatives were focusing on connecting existing opportunities to those who needed them.

Initiatives highlighted at walkabout doorstop interview

Speaking to the media earlier in the day on July 5, after a walkabout at West Coast Market Square, Minister for Communications and Information, S Iswaran, brought up the programmes as an example of how the PAP team for West Coast GRC was "already working on initiatives".

"This is something that is not about an election, but it's about meeting the needs of our residents", he said.

"We want to demonstrate what we can do at the national level to address these concerns, but also at the local level", he added.

Iswaran said that elected representatives must play their role to mobilise community resources to meet needs, going "over and above" representing their residents in Parliament and running town councils.

Foo, who was also at the walkabout, said that there were 2,000 jobs on offer at the July 5 event, in areas such as security and F&B.

She also said that 30 per cent of the jobs were for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) while the remainder were for "rank and file" positions.

Photo by Fasiha Nazren.

"Fruit, whether it's low-hanging or not, is good"

Iswaran was asked by the media about how many of the jobs were "quality jobs" and how many were "low hanging fruit".

"I think fruit, whether it's low-hanging or not, is good", Iswaran said, pointing out that in a "difficult environment", the objective was to create either full-time, part-time, or traineeship positions.

"We should not be getting into this ratings exercise on the kind of jobs that are being created", he said.

The impression gathered from "most of the people we talk to", Iswaran said, was that the opportunities were welcomed.

He said there was also an acknowledgement that "accommodation and adjustment" would be needed, together with recognition that each type of position, whether a job, traineeship, or training opportunity, would all serve as "a foundation for a career in the future".

Top image by Fasiha Nazren