updated 17 Sep 2010, 16:45
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Fri, Sep 17, 2010
The Sunday Times
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More women want to go back to work
by Mavis Toh

Women have not been spared in this downturn.

Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, said she had seen more housewives coming forward, asking for help to re-enter the workforce.

They have the commitment and diligence but often just need that extra boost of confidence and some skills training to get back on track, she noted.

Mrs Lim was speaking to reporters after a PAP Women's Wing dialogue session at the PAP headquarters in Changi yesterday. With her were MPs Indranee Rajah, Josephine Teo, Jessica Tan and Denise Phua.

More than 100 women activists - many of them grassroots leaders - attended the two-hour event, during which issues concerning the recession were raised.

One topic was the impact of foreigners and whether they added more stress to Singaporeans looking for work and housing in tough times.

Citing her observation of two foreign workers on a rubbish truck while she was driving, Mrs Lim said: 'There's often a mismatch between the jobs available to Singaporeans and the jobs that they want to do.'

She added that the Jobs Credit scheme tilts towards Singaporeans and encourages employers to hire them.

Issues like temporarily lowering Central Provident Fund contribution rates and whether more people are now homeless were also raised.

The MPs said families should always be the first line of defence before the Government steps in.

Mrs Lim assured Singaporeans that the Government has enough resources to help, even if the economic situation worsens.

'We're fortunate that because we've been accumulating reserves, we now have the flexibility to act quickly,' she added.

This article was first published in The Sunday Times.

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