WHILE I agree that more can be done to induct and prepare foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in their countries of origin for their work life in Singapore ("Placement fee should be tied to maids' training" by Ms Agnes Kwok Sook Yee; Monday), the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Skills Training (Fast) and its partner, Grace Management and Consultancy Services, do run a Settling-In Programme (SIP) in Singapore for new FDWs before they are deployed to their employers.
This is a mandatory programme stipulated by the Ministry of Manpower to help new FDWs adapt to the work environment here.
The one-day programme, among other things, enables them to have a better grasp of how to work safely in high-rise buildings, and of Singapore's culture, values, social norms and work ethics.
The SIP provides them with a heads-up before they embark on their working life here.
In addition, Fast, a non-profit charity and a champion for FDWs' lifelong learning, also runs many training programmes for them. Most of these short programmes are held on Sundays, which coincide with the rest day for many FDWs, and help to enhance their contribution to their employers and the local community in Singapore.
Fast charges a nominal fee for all its training programmes. Since its inception in 2005, Fast has run training programmes such as cooking and baking classes, caregiver training, and lessons in infant care, elderly care and English. More than 17,000 FDWs have participated in these programmes.
We encourage employers to sign up their FDWs for Fast's training programmes, to enhance their skill sets and add value to their work.
We can be reached at www.fast.org.sg or on 6509-1535.
Seah Seng Choon