“Spic & Span leads with the heart to transform its business”

Straits Times, Sep 4, 2019

The cleaning company develops new technology to open doors for both the company and its staff.

Mr Benjamin Chua left a promising career in the public service because he wanted to help a group of older, retrenched hotel employees find new jobs as housekeepers. He thus started a seven-person housekeeping service for service apartments.

Three years later, the social enterprise has grown into a building management and cleaning service that hires more than 50 people, mainly marginalised and vulnerable Singaporeans.

Spic & Span works with over 60 social service agencies to provide stable employment opportunities to ex-offenders, persons with disabilities, single parents, victims of domestic abuse and the homeless.

(Source)

“Helping seniors work longer, build up CPF savings a crucial first step despite uncertain economy: Josephine Teo”

One-on-one interview with Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo, Jan 30. Photo: Raj Nadarajan/TODAY

Faris Mokhtar, TODAY, Aug 19, 2019 

The moves to enable seniors to work longer and build up their Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings mean that businesses, still smarting from an escalating trade war that has no end in sight, will have to shoulder higher manpower costs, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo has acknowledged.

But she stressed the need to maximise the pool of workers in “labour-constrained” Singapore….

WHAT EMPLOYERS SAY

Business owners welcomed the raising of retirement and re-employment ages, although they noted that the increase in CPF contribution rates would definitely increase business costs.

For cleaning company Spic & Span, some of its workers are already above the retirement and re-employment ages, its founder Benjamin Chua said.

He added that there is value in hiring older workers as they tend to manage conflicts in a calm manner compared with younger workers who can be more “hot-headed”.

(Source)

“Singaporean cleaning firm Spic & Span provides career progression opportunities for the disadvantaged”

Ryan Drillsma, Taiwan News, May 15, 2019 

Spic & Span is a cleaning firm with a difference, placing social outreach at the core of its operations.

The company hires disadvantaged workers that face difficulties securing and sustaining employment. Not only does it offer stable jobs in the cleaning industry, it also provides a close support network in cooperation with over 60 voluntary organizations, and trains employees beyond cleaning to mobilize them into more white-collar fields of work.

Taiwan News spoke to the company founder Benjamin Chua, who received a Social Progress award for Spic & Span at this year’s Asia Pacific Social Enterprise Summit (APSES) in Kaohsiung.

(Source)

“2019 Asia Pacific Social Innovation Partnership Award Ceremony: Social Innovation in Taiwan That Influences the World”

Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs, May 12, 2019

The first Asia Pacific Social Innovation Partnership Award ceremony was held in the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center on the evening of May 11, 2019 (Saturday). The event was organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to encourage social innovation partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region. The first year of its organization, the event attracted 62 applications from 13 countries. Comprised of experts in social innovation coming from 7 countries in Asia-Pacific, the international jury panel chosen 11 entries for three categories, namely, The Biosphere Sustainability Award, The Social Progress Award, The Inclusive Business Award, and also for the Special Jury Prize. The awarded units came from Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Singapore and have focused on issues ranging from sustainable fashion to employment cultivation.

The winning cases were rich in diversity. The overseas cases included Indonesia’s Bandung Creative City Forum, which has built an eco-friendly environment between sustainability and fashion; Singapore’s Spic & Span Pte Ltd raise, which promotes the employment of people in vulnerable conditions; Vietnam’s mGreem, which develops a point-collection APP for recycling; and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, the first social enterprise business center in Hong Kong with a long-term trajectory in social enterprise cultivation.

(Source)

“The Big Read: In the pursuit of technology, what happens to workers left behind?”

Kenneth Cheng, TODAY, Mar 2, 2019 

As the relentless march of technology leaves its mark across industries, scores of Singapore workers young and old have risen to the challenge, jumping over hurdles to embrace new skills and stay ahead of the curve.

Yet, there remains a segment of society who risk being left in the dust. Some of these workers, who are typically of the older set and quick to profess a lack of technological know-how, are not only struggling to keep pace with changes roiling almost every industry. They also fear technology would usurp their roles, leaving them jobless.

It begs the question: What happens to these workers?

While these challenges are not unique to Singapore, the importance of adapting to technology is more acute for workers here than in many other countries, said economics lecturer Kelvin Seah of the National University of Singapore.

(Source)

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