SINGAPORE – Besides help that people can get at career centres around the island, a roadshow has been hitting towns in the Republic to assist Singaporeans in their job search and career needs.

These Adapt and Grow roadshows are expected to reach 100,000 people by the end of the year, three times the number that in 2018 visited them.

The roadshows are not only for Singaporeans affected by the economic slowdown and restructuring, but include programmes for a career switch, and options for those wanting to return to the workforce, such as retirees.

So far, Workforce Singapore (WSG) – a statutory board which runs the roadshows as part of the Adapt and Grow initiative – has reached out to more than 86,000 visitors in the six roadshows held this year, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo on Friday (Sept 21).

She was speaking to the media at the 14th Adapt and Grow roadshow at Ang Mo Kio Hub.

At these roadshows, Singaporeans get a better understanding of how the various programmes under the initiative can support them.

Revamped in February 2019, the roadshows, which were first launched in July 2018, have taken on the look and feel of a small Housing Board town hub, where different zones are represented by town facilities and amenities.

In addition, various interactive and digital displays, using iPads and television screens, have been installed to engage visitors.

The Adapt and Grow initiative also includes a Careers Connect On-the-Go truck.

Professionals who can provide one-to-one career counselling and career advice travel on the truck to neighbourhoods. The vehicle resembles food trucks with a side panel that opens up.

“It used to be that if people wanted to access career matching services and speak to a coach, they would have to go to one of the five career centres around the island,” said Mrs Teo.

“But what we also discovered is that some people have the intention of going, but have not found the time or the opportunity.” 

She added: “We decided that we would bring these services to where they live, where they shop and where they do their daily activities.”

Mrs Teo said that in order to help people better access the programmes that are available to support them, “we have to make an effort to let them know how they can get help when they need it”.

Housewife Deanna Tang, 48, was shopping with her youngest daughter in the mall when they came across the roadshow at the atrium.

The mother of four children said: “Initially, I thought that Adapt and Grow programmes were mainly for people looking for a job. But I discovered that there was actually a lot of other information such as training programmes and options to switch careers.”

Ms Tang, who used to work as a secretary, added that while she currently has no plans to return to the workforce, the roadshow educated her on the portals she can go into to find a job.

Mr Raymond Tan, 59, who had also chanced upon the roadshow, said that he has been out of work for two years after getting laid off from his job in sales.

He said knowing that there are avenues he can turn to gives him hope for the future as he does want to secure a job.

“These roadshows really give people like me opportunities to learn. I am hoping to find courses that can give me a head start into a new industry.”

“It has given me a sense of hope that I am still employable,” said Mr Tan.

The next roadshows will be held at Hougang Central Hub from Oct 17 to Oct 20, and at North Point City from Dec 26 to Dec 29.