Up to 100 Singaporean women from lower-income families will undergo functional and soft skills training, as well as confidence building, to find work in the eldercare sector.
January 19, 2017 – Singapore’s gender equality advocacy group, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), together with non-profit group Daughters of Tomorrow (DOT), have rolled out an industrial preparation program to help the country’s financially disadvantaged women find employment as professional caregivers for the elderly. The two-year initiative, funded by global financial services firm J.P. Morgan, targets women from families earning less than S$400 per capita per month.
The initiative has received the backing from Singapore’s key players in the healthcare and eldercare sectors, including NTUC Health, ECON Healthcare and Homage, an internet start-up for professional caregivers for the elderly.
AWARE and DOT will also work with community partners Lions Befrienders and iCare Life in this induction cum training program. The women will start off as volunteers with Lions Befrienders in caring for the elderly before being professional trained as caregivers for the elderly by iCare Life.
“AWARE is pleased to drive this new initiative together with DOT and J.P. Morgan. Through this program, we hope more lower-income women are empowered to gain professional skills in the burgeoning eldercare industry. Our work with lower-income single mothers over the last year underscores the importance of economic empowerment for the women in this community, and we are dedicated to creating such opportunities that will alleviate the financial burden and responsibilities that many of them face,” said Corinna Lim, Executive Director of AWARE.
Singapore’s eldercare industry is a fast-growing sector in the context of the country’s rapidly aging population. According to statistics from the Ministry of Health (link to information), while about 1 million residents are expected to be over 60 by the year 2030, the ratio of Singapore’s pool of nurses/midwives to the overall population was at 7:1000 in 2015.
“J.P. Morgan has been in Singapore for more than 50 years and we have never been more committed to supporting economic growth and inclusion in these markets. Workforce readiness is very close to our hearts here at J.P. Morgan as we believe helping people develop the skills they need to compete in today’s job market can transform lives and strengthen economies. We hope by the end of the two-year program, we are able to help many women become meaningfully employed in the increasingly important and relevant eldercare sector,” said Edmund Lee, Senior Country Officer for Singapore at J.P. Morgan.
The pilot ran from August 2015 to November 2016, which saw 12 beneficiaries from DOT complete their training and one find permanent work. Since J.P. Morgan began funding as an equal partner in December 2016, six more beneficiaries have gone through basic caregiver training with iCare Life; two among them are currently interviewing for roles and another two have found full-time employment.
“With medical services competing for healthcare providers, especially nurses, the 100 women put through this initiative after two years will form but a drop in the ocean. Nonetheless, DOT recognizes that our national eldercare needs is a pressing one and we really want to make a difference in this area. Through this initiative we hope to see our beneficiaries grow and develop into confident, empathetic caregivers who are able to carry out high standards of care for our elderly,” said Ms Carrie Tan, Executive Director of DOT.
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.
AWARE is Singapore’s leading women’s rights and gender equality advocacy group. We embrace diversity, and we promote understanding and acceptance of diversity, respect the individual and the choices she makes in life, and support her when needed, and recognise the human rights of all, regardless of gender, so that everyone can realise their aspirations.
About Daughters of Tomorrow
Registered as a charity under the Charities Act of Singapore, Daughters of Tomorrow (DOT) complements and supports existing training and workforce-related agencies by connecting volunteers and community resources to enable each woman on an individual level. By deep-diving into practical day-to-day constraints of these women, it offers hand-holding and individual coaching to help each woman attain regular, sustained employment. DOT’s beneficiaries are women aged 20 to 60 from low-income families (surviving on S$200 to S$500 per capita per month), most of whom reside in government-subsidised rental flats. Many face multiple internal and external stressors that affect their job prospects and their ability to break out of poverty. Since its incorporation in August 2014, DOT has impacted more than 60 women through their skills-training, job-bridging and support programmes. Through sustained employment, women in DOT’s employment bridging program regain their confidence, while gaining a social support network that helps steer them through difficult times.