A resilient and inclusive workforce forms the backbone of the business and the economy. We wish to inspire and rally businesses to take actions from supporting disadvantaged individuals towards a good headstart in the workforce to caring for employees in need.
Beyond financial assistance, Employment is the key to independence and integration to the community. With employment comes the benefit of access to other subsidy schemes e.g. housing or childcare, which are especially crucial for the disadvantaged groups. When the disadvantaged gain stable and sustainable employment, they participate in their fruit of labour and would not need the typical welfare.
SBF Foundation will kick start Empower Circles as a platform to bridge the business community who hires and the social service agencies who support and nurture such targeted pool of resources who are in transition from challenging circumstances. The first of such session on 29 July 2020 was organised by New Hope Community Services to bridge hiring organisations and individuals who are in need of a shelter and stable income.
Trade Associations who would like to galvanise their member companies and join us in this collective effort to share best practice can contact us for an exploration.
In phases, SBF Foundation Employability Fund will support programmes that outreach to different population groups. In phase 1, the first 2 groups supported are rough sleepers/homeless, and long-term unemployed parents and caregivers of at-risk children. This will be expanded over the next 3 years to include other groups including persons with mental health conditions, out-of-school youths and caregivers.
Companies who wish to contribute towards enabling employment programmes may click here to donate.
Companies interested to find out more on sustainable employment can learn more through the SBF Sustainable Employment page
JOIN US for SHRI x SBFF upcoming EMPOWER Circles Conversation Series
Enable Manpower Planning Opportunities With Enhanced Resources
Conversations on Inclusive Hiring for HR Professionals
In partnership with SHRI, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) Foundation aims to bridge the hiring organisations with the untapped resources in the community.
EMPOWER Circles is a peer learning platform to forge understanding on progressive hiring practices to fulfil manpower needs and support the employability of vulnerable individuals to enter or re-enter the workforce. Join us in the series of 3 conversations, to find out how vulnerable individuals can be empowered with employment; how progressive hiring practices help in sustaining employment; and how the resource pipeline can be tapped while the social service agencies support their other needs and prepare them for employment.
Conversation: Women Faced with Challenges
62% outside the workforce are women, with family responsibilities as the top reason for keeping them away from work1
“Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.” – Sharon Jaynes
Presented by: Daughters of Tomorrow
Empowering Women, Enabling Families. Daughters Of Tomorrow (DOT) mission is to facilitate livelihood opportunities for underprivileged women and support them in achieving financial independence and social mobility for their families. They serve women from low-income families who are also women who face limitations on access to employment due to caregiving responsibilities, lack of flexible employment practices, focused training, and skills-enhancement. DOT comes in to complement existing training and workforce-related agencies by connecting community resources to enable each woman on an individual level.
1. Labour Force in Singapore, 2021 Edition, ©Manpower Research and Statistics Department, Ministry of Manpower
Conversation: Homeless Individuals
6 in 10 of the homeless people are in irregular work and earn low wages2
“Don’t try to drive the homeless into places we find suitable. Help them survive in places they find suitable.” – Daniel Quinn
Presented by: New Hope Community Services
New Hope Community Services (NHCS) was established in 2004 and has played a crucial role in the community to provide shelter and support to those in need. NHCS recognises that building thriving and resilient families and individuals requires more than just a roof over their heads. As such, they support the families and individuals to break out of the poverty cycle and achieve long term financial resilience and independence.
2. Singapore’s Hidden Homeless: Insights from a Nationwide Street Count by Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, 2019
Conversation: Persons With Mental Health Conditions
In Singapore, the unemployment rate was 11.5%, twice as high among those with a 12-month mental disorder than those without at 4.8%3
“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close
Presented by: Singapore Association for Mental Health
Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH) was established in 1968 and is dedicated in uplifting the lives of persons with mental health conditions and to promote mental wellness within the community. SAMH recognises that while clinical support is essential for persons recovering from mental illness, community-based care is no less important in providing them with a better quality of life and improved acceptance of treatment. Reintegration and rehabilitation will help persons with mental health condition live and work normally within the community. One of the rehabilitation services is to provide training and employment placement for persons with mental health conditions.
3. Subramaniam et al., Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore. 2021.
Webinar on Employability Fund on 25 March 2021
Empower Circles Kick Off on 4 December 2020
Kick started on December 2020, the Empower Circles is a platform to bridge knowledge and build capacity of business community that hires, and the social service agencies that support and nurture individuals who are in transition from challenging circumstances. Targeted industry sectors will support these individuals in entering or re-entering the workforce.
[Left to Right]:
First row: Mr N. Sreenivasan (Chairman, Programme Committee SBF Foundation),
Ms Wong Sing Chee (President, People and Career Development Association)
Second row: Ms Ranganayaki Thangavelu (Deputy Executive Director, Beyond Social Services)
Third row: Mr Alvin Aloysius Goh (Executive Director, Singapore Human Resources Institute),
Ms Fazlin Abdullah (Director, Knowledge & Insights, National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre),
Ms Anthea Rose Chong (Manager, Manpower Planning & Policy Division, Ministry of Manpower)
[Not in picture]:
Ms Vicky Wong (Deputy CEO, e2i),
Ms Lim Kar Yee (Senior Director, CDC Plan & Development, People’s Association)
Ministerial Luncheon with TAC leaders on 13 November 2020
Industry leaders from 9 Trade Associations and Chambers of Commerce attended a ministerial luncheon on 13 November 2020 co-hosted by Ms Janet Ang, Deputy Chairman, SBF Foundation and Mr Philip Tan, Chairman, Community Chest where guest of honour, Minister Ong Ye Kung implored the business community to embrace collective giving.
Empower Circles on President Halimah Yacob's Facebook on 24 October 2020