It was really tough when I first started my marine company. I remembered that there was one time when my staff queued up at the ATM to draw money from their own accounts so that I could pay the vendors for goods. Thanks to them, my business took off, and was acquired by a listed company soon after.
I have always been grateful to my staff, and the sacrifices they made for my company during our start-up days. When the oil and gas market experienced a slowdown in 2014, and our parent company wanted to cut the headcount. I felt that it was my turn to put their interest ahead of mine. I bit the bullet and volunteered to be retrenched.
Of course I was worried about providing for my family. I had two schooling children then, but I made the decision because my staff were like my family. I just could not let them lose their jobs, not especially after how they had helped me through those tough early days.
“I also knew that at 45 years old, and with experience in such a niche industry, would make finding a new job challenging, let alone one that can match my last-drawn pay.”
I persisted with the hope that my savings would be able to tide my family through while I searched for a new job. I am very grateful to my wife for being so supportive. We stretched our savings by cutting down on our expenses and even considered selling our car.
They found it challenging to hire me based on my last drawn pay. Thankfully, I learnt about the Career Support Programme (CSP) – which provides employers with funding to hire experienced PMETs.
Our perseverance finally paid off. My current employers – whom I first met almost 15 years ago when they were my company’s vendor – offered me a job opportunity because of the good working relationship we had. However, they found it challenging to hire me based on my last drawn pay. Thankfully, I learnt about the Career Support Programme (CSP) – which provides employers with funding to hire experienced PMETs. My current employers tapped on this programme and offered me a job as their general manager. It was a win-win for us – both the jobseeker and the employer. I was able to get a job that was close to my last drawn and my employer was able to hire an experienced individual to contribute to the company.
I feel that this programme offers mature PMETs like me a lot of hope. Although our salaries are generally higher, we have plenty to offer. We bring with us valuable work experience which enables us to guide the younger generation. I’m glad CSP gives me the chance to do so.
– Mr Denis Koh, Career Support Programme beneficiary