‘HEARTS’ helps mums de­velop skills

New Straits Times - - News -

per­cent­age of women leav­ing the work­force is slightly lower than those who are still work­ing.

Fig­ures from the Fifth Pop­u­la­tion and Fam­ily Study in 2014 showed that 42.4 per cent of women (15-59 age group) have quit their jobs for var­i­ous rea­sons, in­clud­ing fam­ily re­spon­si­bil­i­ties while 46.5 per cent are still in the work­force. The re­main­ing 11.1 per cent never worked.

Women, Fam­ily and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ro­hani Ab­dul Karim said the per­cent­age of those leav­ing to care for their chil­dren was at 32.4 per cent.

“Other rea­sons for leav­ing in­clude mar­riage (16.4 per cent) and mi­grat­ing with hus­band (11.7 per cent).

“Other fac­tors in­clude health prob­lems (9.1 per cent), hus­band does not al­low wife to re­turn to work (6.2 per cent), fam­ily is­sues (4.4 per cent), lost in­ter­est in work (3.4 per cent) and preg­nancy (3.1 per cent),” she told the

Sta­tis­tics Depart­ment, Labour Force Sur­vey Re­port 2016 showed that women par­tic­i­pa­tion in the work­force has been in­creas­ing ev­ery year.

Last year, women par­tic­i­pa­tion in work­force was at 54.3 per cent, com­pared with 54.2 the year be­fore and 53.7 in 2014.

A pro­gramme un­der the Hu­man Re­sources Min­istry, Housewives En­hance­ment And Re­ac­ti­vate Tal­ents Schemes (HEARTS), pro­vides train­ing for housewives in spe­cialised fields to en­able them to work from home or un­der flex­i­ble work­ing ar­range­ments.

Mother of two, May Tan, who also runs an on­line sup­port group for stay-at-home mums called Work At Home Moms (WAHM), said women who wanted to work from home could de­velop their present skills through HEARTS.

“HEARTS is a pro­gramme to train ed­u­cated housewives in spe­cialised fields, such as trans­la­tion, edit­ing, web de­vel­op­ment, graphic de­sign and so­cial me­dia man­age­ment,” she said.

WAHM is one of the largest Face­book sup­port groups for mums work­ing from home, with more than 1,000 mem­bers from Malaysia and abroad.

“Af­ter I quit my full-time job and started part-time work at home, I dis­cov­ered many home busi­ness ideas suit­able for mums.

“Then I met many other mums on Face­book, who were in the same boat; des­per­ate to stay at home with their chil­dren with sup­ple­men­tal in­come.

“So, the group was formed for mums who are cur­rently work­ing from home or wish to work from home.

“From there came the idea to pub­lish my own ebook — shar­ing busi­ness ideas and tips.”

Mem­bers of the group share moth­er­hood tips, in­spir­ing sto­ries, rant off frus­tra­tion and dis­cuss work-from-home op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“What I’ve dis­cov­ered over the years is that most em­ploy­ers are not open to flex­i­ble work­ing ar­range­ments for moth­ers, and that many mums have fallen into a pit­fall of scams be­cause they do not know how to dif­fer­en­ti­ate real jobs from the fake ones,” said Tan.

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