Singapore Government Press Release
Media Relations Division, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts
MITA Building, 140 Hill Street, 2nd Storey, Singapore 179369
ACTING MINISTER (MANPOWER) LAUNCHES DOMESTIC CLEANING RE-SKILLING FOR EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMME (DomestiCaRE) TO PLACE AND TRAIN WORKERS TO MEET JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN THE DOMESTIC HOUSEKEEPING INDUSTRY
Dr Ng Eng Hen, Acting Minister for Manpower and Minister of State for Education launched the DomestiCaRE programme at the opening of the Academy of Domestic Services today. The DomestiCaRE programme is aimed at helping retrenched and unemployed Singaporeans re-skill to fill about 300 job vacancies in the domestic housekeeping industry over the next one year.
The shortage of manpower faced by the industry is largely due to what many job seekers perceive as its poor image. However the truth is that the industry has developed significantly in recent years. Today, housekeepers need to develop better service techniques, possess multiple skills and build up their knowledge of household products and cleaning chemicals to be effective and efficient and to meet the higher expectations of homeowners.
To meet this growing need, the new Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the Ministry of Manpower in partnership with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), PREMAS International Training College, the Academy of Domestic Services have put together a STEER Place and Train for the domestic housekeeping industry. Participating employers of this programme are Amahs On Wheels Pte Ltd, ESMACO International Pte Ltd, Homemaker Total Home Management Pte Ltd and Laundry-Maid Pte Ltd.
Highlights of DomestiCaRE
Under this programme, NTUC JobLink will help to facilitate job matching in the domestic housekeeping industry. Successful jobseekers will be sponsored by their employers to undergo the training courses supported by WDA and NTUC, at either PREMAS Training College or ADS. Upon completion of the training, the trainees will return to join their respective sponsoring companies and apply their newly-acquired competencies at their workplaces. Apart from boosting the capabilities of Singaporeans joining the domestic housekeeping sector and helping companies meet their manpower needs, this programme ties training directly to a job opening. It therefore addresses the need to ensure employment after training.
Under the off-budget package introduced in 2001, there are enhanced incentives in place for employers willing to hire and train Singaporeans. Course fee subsidy is 100% capped at $20/hour for mature trainees (aged 40 years and above with qualifications of ‘A’ level and below) and 90% capped at $10/hour for those below 40. While undergoing full-time training, employers will also receive an absentee payroll allowance of $6.90 per training hour for mature trainees, and $6.10 per training hour for the others. Upon completion of the training, employers hiring any trainees from the DomestiCaRE programme will receive payroll support of 50% for six months capped at $2,000 per month for mature employees and 50% for three months capped at S$1,000 per month for the others. Funding support for course fees and absentee payroll and on-the-job training (OJT) incentives will be provided through WDA’s Skills Development Fund (SDF), People for Job Traineeship Programme (PJTP) and Skills Training and Employability Enhancement for Retrenched and Unemployed Workers Programme (STEER) under the Skills Redevelopment Programme (SRP).
The DomestiCaRE is part of the series of STEER Place and Train developed by WDA in partnership with NTUC. Other industries that have benefited from such schemes include the aerospace and call centre industries. With the launch of DomestiCaRE, the domestic housekeeping industry has clearly demonstrated the potential to offer good employment opportunities for locals.
Dr Ng also opened the Academy of Domestic Services (ADS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Homemaker. ADS is a training centre that offers National Skills Recognition System modules for the domestic services industry. These include modules on cleaning of living rooms, cleaning of kitchens and bathrooms, pressing of garments, maintenance of domestic appliances, maintenance and restoration of domestic floors and so on. Upcoming modules include infant care giving services, childminding and eldercare services. The set up of ADS is a milestone that signifies the progress made in the development of the domestic housekeeping industry, which goes beyond cleaning. Apart from the staff of Homemaker, its programmes are also open to non-Homemaker employees. ADS is one of the training partners of WDA for the DomestiCaRE programme.
MINISTRY OF MANPOWER
5 SEPTEMBER 2003
Companies interested to hire and job seekers interested to explore job opportunities in the domestic housekeeping industry may contact NTUC JobLink for more information.