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Creating awareness about career opportunities for freelancers in Singapore

When asked about outreach efforts to freelancers and self-employed persons (SEPs) below 35 by MP Rahayu Mahzam, Singapore's Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo cited that in 2018, 17% of primary SEPs were aged below 35, while 31% of regular employees were aged below 35.

"Youths below 35 are therefore not over-represented among the self-employed," she noted.

Nonetheless, in terms of creating awareness about career opportunities and progression for freelancers and SEPs, she cited the following outlets:

  1. The Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics and universities provide education and career guidance (ECG), such as learning journeys to companies, workshops with industry representatives, and career fairs.
  2. Complementing these efforts is the MySkillsFuture Portal, which provides information on industries and occupations, as well as tools to support their training and career development; as well as MyCareersFuture Portal enables SEPs to locate suitable jobs more easily.
  3. Training support via sector agencies, for example, insurance agents can tap on industry competency standards and training subsidies under the IBF, while media freelancers and professionals may refer to the Skills Framework for Media.
  4. Infocomm Media and Development Authority (IMDA) also provides funding support to SEPs, in particular media freelancers, to encourage them to acquire deeper skills and competencies through a list of pre-approved courses.
  5. In occupations such as insurance and real estate agents, SEPs are required to go for regular training and assessment to maintain their professional qualifications.

ALSO READ: The top three challenges of using freelancers and other part-time workers

Along the same lines, Minister Teo was also asked by MP Desmond Choo about work injury insurance for food delivery riders who are using PMDs.

She clarified: "Food delivery companies are required to purchase work injury compensation insurance for their employed delivery riders. These riders are eligible for compensation under the Work Injury Compensation Act if they are injured at work.

"Companies have control over their employees’ work arrangements and are therefore responsible for compensation if their employees are injured in the course of work."

However, she noted that this doesn't apply to self-employed delivery riders, who may choose their own work arrangements such as driving their own vehicles and managing their own working hours. In addition, they can work for multiple delivery companies.

"In this regard, companies do not have full control over the SEP work arrangements and are thus not required to purchase work injury compensation insurance for them."

Nonetheless, she said major operators like GrabFood and Deliveroo provide personal accident insurance for all their delivery riders, including those who are self-employed.

She added that Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSHC) will publish an updated guide on safe riding later this year that will highlight that a self-employed rider hurt in an accident caused by another vehicle can also claim against the vehicle owner’s motor insurance.

Photo / 123RF

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