Friday, March 11, 2005

Singapore: More Help for Older Workers

According to an article by Jasmine Yin, Singapore's Committee on Ageing Issues (CAI)--co-chaired by Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Balaji Sadasivan and Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Community Development, Youth and Sports Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman--is looking into enhancing financial security of the elderly and improving employability of older workers. In addition, a tripartite committee comprising the Ministry of Manpower, the Singapore National Employers Federation and the National Trades Union Congress has also been formed to examine the employability issues of older workers.

According to a speech to Parliament from Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, "we need to review the retirement age policy, identify employment opportunities for the elderly, promote elder-friendly work and HR practices." Job creation for older Singaporeans is one of the CAI's priority areas. One possible solution to alleviate such employment woes is to establish an informal industry for older Singaporeans. "We will be piloting a community platform where the elderly and homemakers can make a living selling their own products, like cakes, handicrafts or services," he added. Other ways to help the older worker include promoting an "elder-friendly workplace" and "enlightened" human resource practices, and even providing micro-credit for such informal industry businesses.

Source: "More help for older S'poreans" TODAYonline (March 11, 2005)

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