Golden work opportunities for the elderly

Madam Teo Lee Kiang (right) and her husband, Mr Tan Chong Meng (second from right), learning basic health massage for babies from an instructor from Penny Chew Massage and Healthcare on 27 August 2015.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

More internships and part-time work will be available to seniors in the heartland, as the number of companies offering such opportunities through a community programme has more than doubled.

The People's Association (PA) announced yesterday that 10 new companies were joining the seven existing ones under its Senior Academy Golden Work Series.

The jobs offered by the new partners, which include POSB, Japanese fast food chain Yoshinoya, and Pet Lovers Centre, will add 100 vacancies to the programme.

Launched in April, the Golden Work programme offers skills-related workshops to seniors, who can then go on to try for internships, part-time or light work opportunities at partner companies. Seniors can earn $5 to $8 an hour from this work.

To date, 560 people have signed up for courses and 20 per cent of the available job opportunities have been taken up. The PA is also expanding the programme to 15 community centres (CC), up from 10 previously.

Yesterday, more than 500 seniors attended a programme showcase at Potong Pasir CC, where they got to try their hands at courses such as mocktail making and basic banking.


Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, grassroots adviser and MP for Potong Pasir, who was the event's guest-of-honour, said he felt the programme was especially useful in a mature estate like Potong Pasir.

He said: "Many of our elderly, health permitting, would like to carry on working, meet new friends and earn some pocket money as well."

New partner POSB will be leveraging on the Golden Work series to expand its own Active Neighbours Programme from 70 seniors to 90.

These part-time employees assist elderly customers and introduce them to time-saving practices, such as SMS alerts for queuing, or how to use an ATM card instead of a passbook.

They can earn about $8 an hour, working a few hours around three days a week.

Madam P. Indira Thevy, 63, joined a tea appreciation course about three months ago, and secured a part-time job with tea company Tea Ideas, where she packs tea and recommends brews to customers at roadshows.

She said: "My four daughters give me pocket money, but I want to be able to spend my own money when I go out.'' - The Straits Times

This article was first published on August 28 2015. Get The New Paper for more stories.