Initiatives to empower, uplift lower-wage workers to forge ahead even as Alliance for Action ends

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SINGAPORE – Having been in the security industry for more than 10 years, Mr Ardi Amir has seen his fair share of security officers being physically and verbally abused by members of the public.

So when the opportunity arose for him to volunteer in a project that raises pre-schoolers’ awareness on the work of lower-wage workers, the 44-year-old business development manager in a security company jumped at the chance. 

He and his team organises sessions where, through videos and activities such as role play – props included – young children learn about a day in a life of a cleaner or security officer.

“The young ones don’t have any prejudice, so you can actually disseminate the idea of respecting the lower-wage workers, so that they won’t think later in life that lower-wage workers don’t deserve respect,” said Mr Ardi, who is also the president of the Union of Security Employees (USE).

“I think what needs to be done is for them to be recognised as professionals. I think people or society still don’t see them as professionals and still see them in the background. We need to understand that what they’re doing is essential,” he said.  

The Experience Day project was one of nine projects showcased by Alliance for Action for Lower-Wage Workers (AfA for LWW) on Saturday.

Volunteers presented updates on the progress of project ideas they had developed to help lower-wage earners in workshops prior.

Another project aims to help single mothers overcome barriers to long-term employment through job-matching that leverages a Telegram bot, and refining their resumes with the help of AI. Yet another project will see the development of an app that provides security guards with training and development opportunities to help them advance in their careers.

Saturday also marked the conclusion of the industry-led alliance, which was launched by Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad in March 2021 to mobilise volunteers to come up with solutions to help uplift lower-wage workers.

Over the past two years, the alliance had successfully initiated 14 projects focused on fostering supporting work environments, encouraging societal support for progressive wages and increasing support for lower-wage workers to upskill. 

A total of 50 participants took part in the first ...

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