By Terry Xu
The Pwee Foundation has helped kick-start Boys’ Town WRAP (Work Readiness Attachment Program), a pilot mentoring and internship program. They have been offering mentorship to 7 boys since early start of the year.
The foundation has received support from a local property management company, Link (PN) Realty, and their restaurant, E.Clat Gourmet. The boys will start the job attachment from 11th to 15th March this year.
This program targets youths-at-risk who are around the age of 16. Board Director, Mr. David Chee said, “after completing their ‘N’ or ‘O’ levels, the boys may not be of age to go to the Army yet. This program will provide them an opportunity to explore future careers rather than feeling lost before NS.”
Speaking to Mr. Peter Ng, the owner of Link (PN) Realty and E.Clat Gourmet. He was interested in this program due to the social entrepreneurship element in it when he first heard from Foundation Board Chairman, Benjamin Pwee and later decided to take part in the program. Besides offering to take up the boys for the job attachment. He is also currently one of the mentors who are mentoring the boys in this program.
He says that he finds it easy to relate with the boys of this program as he himself comes from a single parent family and did not have much of an easy beginning when he was young. He shared that if he did not have help back then, he might have landed himself on the bad side of society.
As Mr. Peter put it, labor shortage is a serious issue for service industries in Singapore. And through this program, apart from helping the boys to gain real life working experience, the company also stand to solve its manpower issue therefore it becomes a “win-win” situation for both parties.
He hopes that the boys involved in this program will appreciate the help that they have received and learn how to contribute more to society. If the boys like the jobs that are being offered and found suitable for the job, they can continue working as part-timers if it does not affect their studies.
This program will be carried out through till end of the year and if this goes well, it might just be adopted as a model to emulate in the future by other such groups with the same nature of the Boys’ Town.