Monday, January 07, 2013

Enhancing Employability In Singapore - Ruby Tuesday

During the Christmas holidays, several classmates from my ICDL (International Computer Driving Lesson) Certification Programme met for lunch. We have been keeping in touch with one another after the completion of the course.

P1170387

One of our classmates Haslinda became the envy of the group. After completing the ICDL course, she signed up for more courses to upgrade herself. She was recently promoted to Administrative Executive in an interior design firm and received a 2-month performance bonus for the year.

Haslinda, a bubbly girl with numerous ear piercings and tattoos on both arms, would sit next to me during our 3-week computer course. During our chats, she revealed that she dropped out of secondary school as she was playful. She has worked at fast food restaurants, coffee houses and as a salesgirl, earning meagre hourly wages.

Although she is only 23, she is already a mother of 3 young kids and separated from her husband of 6 years. With 3 children to feed, she was finding it tough to work on shifts and make ends meet. She approached the Community Development Council (CDC) for help.

P1170227

They found her a job as a receptionist at an interior design firm and also arranged for her to attended computer courses to upgrade her skills and enhanced her employability.

As Hasinda has only a Secondary 2 standard, I would often help her as she was struggling with the technical terms. She was determined to get her certificates, so she studied hard. She passed with flying colours. At the end of the course, her Boss was so pleased with her newly acquired skills that he gave her a raise and encouraged her to sign up for more relevant courses.

P1170449

trainer teaching us Spreadsheet Function 

She is now earning a monthly salary of S$2000 including overtime pay, a far cry from her previous hourly-paid service crew jobs. Seeing how much Haslinda’s life has improved, we are happy for her.


16 comments:

  1. She must got married at a very young age. If my math is right she got married at 17 or so...still a child.
    So what your hourly wage there? Idaho it $7.25 plus they take out what taxes need be.
    So glad to hear she got flying colors in her exams.
    Coffee is on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, she married at a very young age. Not common for girls to marry so young in Singapore.

      Haslinda left school at age 15 and started working, mixing with the adults who were into 'adult activities' like smoking, clubbing. If she had remained in school, she wouldn't have gotten into this situation.

      She now knows the importance of getting an education, so she is willing to work hard to provide for her 3 lovely kids.

      She was earning S$4.50 (USD3.69)an hour in fast food restaurants, S$6 (USD4.91) per hour in coffee houses and took home S$900 (USD737.22) as a sales girl. These low wages are not enough to survive on for a single mother with 3 kids.

      I am happy she is able to give her kids a better life.

      Delete
  2. Thanks very much for taking the time to share your experiences - we are always glad to hear personal stories where our programme is having the effect it was designed to have, and really helping people to improve their lives.

    Best wishes to you and all your classmates from the ICDL Asia team

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Daniel,
    Thanks for stopping by.

    We are grateful to CDC and WDA for the opportunity to attend your ICDL courses. The courses are especially useful for stay-at-home Moms who wish to join the workforce after their children have grown up.

    My 23 classmates' ages range from 23 to 73. There were a grandmother who was 62 and an elderly man aged 73, both were able to keep up with the lessons and passed the tests.

    The syllabus is easy to understand. The practical lessons help us better learn and understand new material.

    Many of my classmates who have gone through the courses have better pay with the certification.

    Keep up the good work. Best wishes from all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's a good example that it is never too late to learn and advance in life ! The red pullover fits to Ruby Red, lol !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, one is never too late to learn. The elderly uncle in my class is one fine example. He may be slow but he is capable of learning new things and applying it in his little travel agency.

      He is able to do a spreadsheet and design presentation slides when before he had to depend on his son and staff to do those.

      Delete
  5. What Haslinda has achieved sounds like the progressive wage model that NTUC Mr. Lim Swee Say has been talking about. Better pay for better skills and productivity.

    I recall reading something like a wage ladder that is complemented by a skills ladder, productivity ladder as well as career ladder.

    The better skills/productivity will results in better wages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haslinda's boss is a rarity. He approached CDC for help in getting workers, he was introduced to productivity schemes. He is willing to invest in his workers, he paid for Haslinda's courses and did not sign a bond with her.

      In Singapore, only a growing minority of companies are taking measures to improve productivity.

      Haslinda has shown that by improving her skills, her productivity and employability go up and so did her wages.

      Delete
  6. Congrats to Haslinda. I hope she continues to excel in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although her responsibilities at work has increased due to her new skills, but she is still upgrading herself through courses.

      Delete
  7. Good for you ECl and good for Hasinda! Not everyone always gets the same start in life. It's much more difficult to fight your way back than to never have had to fight for it at all.

    I think it is a wonderful thing you are doing helping these people!! Hugs and love my friend!!:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words, Jackie.

      Haslinda is a fighter. For the love of her 3 beautiful children, she would do her best to give them a better life.

      Delete
  8. It's nice to hear stories such as Haslinda's. Lack of college degree really isn't an obstacle to seek success. A mother's instinct would always find a way. This is inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where there's a will, there's a way. I'm glad she realises that the future of her children lies in her hands. Had she made the wrong decision, her life and her children's lives would be very different.

      Delete
  9. I'm so happy for her, it's nice to read a success story, especially about a single Mother trying to make it on her own!
    Janet :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are all happy for her. May she succeed in all her endeavours.

      Haslinda wishes to thank everyone for your encouragement and support. Despite juggling between work and family commitments, she will be attending a part-time course soon.

      Delete

Thank You for visiting my blog and brightening my day with your comments. I try to always respond to your comments - but there will be times when I cannot answer them all. See you again...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...