Saturday 21 February 2015

People's Association launches initiative to help seniors pick up life and work skills

By Aw Cheng Wei, The Straits Times, 18 Feb 2015

Those above 50 who are interested in doing part-time work can now pick up industry-related skills at 10 community clubs, under a new tie-up between the People's Association and partners including the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF).

Called the Golden Work Series, the programme is part of a larger initiative called Senior Academy launched on Feb 17 at Gek Poh Ville Community Club, where seniors can also learn things such as how to use WhatsApp, Facebook and share tips on how to remain positive.

Courses will be developed and jobs suitable for seniors will be identified, whether part-time or freelance, said Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Dr Amy Khor in her opening address at the launch.

While details are still being ironed out, some of the jobs can include packing and gift-wrapping, suggested SMF deputy president Sunny Koh.

Mr Koh said: "It's a way for them to earn some extra pocket money while spending an enjoyable afternoon with their friends."

Besides the Golden Work Series, seniors can also take part in a four-month structured programme where they will receive a certificate after attending 10 cores and elective classes in areas such as first aid skills, cooking and cultural dances.

Lessons are one-time and last 2.5 to 3 hours. The curriculum will cost $50 for Passion Card members, while non-members pay $62. Or they can sign up for ad hoc classes which cost $10 per session for Passion Card members and $20 for non-members.

One participant, Ms Linda Chen, who signed up for the four-month course, is excited about picking up the ukulele. The 56-year-old manager said: "I can teach my grandson how to play. It's something for us to do together."

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