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AW CHENG WEI on 18 Jul 2015

The Straits Times

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Age is no barrier for some older white-collar professionals who enjoy job satisfaction

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say announced last week that the Government will subsidise the wages of older local professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) who have been unemployed for at least six months, to encourage companies to hire them.

Under this two-year pilot programme which kicks off on Oct 1, a company will receive between $7,200 and $12,600 a year for hiring a jobless PME aged between 40 and 49 and between $14,400 and $25,200 a year for hiring an unemployed PME aged 50 and above.

In addition, changes will be implemented to make it tougher to hire foreign professionals.

Currently, there are schemes such as WorkPro that fund companies so that they can help olderworkers and mothers get back to work. Employers who have hired older, local professionals have told The Straits Times these workers are more stable. Mr G. Kartheesan, director of IT and engineering firm Big Three Strategies, said: "They do not stay on their mobile phones all the time and are very focused on their tasks."

Mr Tan Jui Chai, deputy head of corporate human resources at security company Certis Cisco, said: "(Older professionals) bring with them a wealth of experience."

According to the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, workplace discrimination complaints related to age have remained stable at one in six over the past five years.

Its general manager Roslyn Ten said: "(Older white-collar workers) bring benefits such as strong loyalty, commitment and work ethic to the table, manifesting in lower turnover and absenteeism. They are also great mentors to their younger colleagues. Job seekers, such as older PMEs, must constantly reinvent themselves, keeping their skills relevant and remaining flexible."

 

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.