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ZBJ-SPH joint venture ZomWork ties up with SIRS to launch Gig Economy Immersion Programme

ONLINE professional services marketplace ZomWork inked an agreement with Nanyang Polytechnic's Singapore Institute of Retail Studies (SIRS) to launch the Gig Economy Immersion Programme on Friday.

ZomWork is a joint venture between China's largest online freelancing platform, ZBJ Network, and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), which publishes The Business Times.

Jason Teo, general manager of ZomWork, said: "As technology facilitates the ease of remote working, and employers become more accustomed to managing contingent staff, the number of skilled professionals searching for gig work is sure to only grow in Singapore."

"To better help grow this new way of working here, we have looked to China for inspiration - where the gig economy is already thriving."

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The newly launched programme will consist of a series of trips to China. Participants will learn from Chinese companies and local government officials how the gig economy operates in China and how to better leverage on a model based on utilising freelancers and temporary workers.

This programme will be open to all interested participants, but they have to register through SIRS. It will cost about S$7,000, but there are subsidies available like SkillFuture credits.

Megan Ong, director of SIRS, said:"Through this MOU and other initiatives, SIRS will equip talents and local retailers in the gig economy with relevant and updated skill sets that are in demand."

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing was witnessed by the guest-of-honour Minister in Prime Minister's Office, Chan Chun Sing.

Also announced at the signing was the launch of ZomWork's revamped website. The revamped website will introduce an escrow feature - where the marketplace act as a neutral third party payment manager to ensure fair payments - and a webspace that records transactions and stores documents.

To date, ZomWork, which matches gig-seekers and companies, has about 150 registered users and 200 companies. These companies range from start-ups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to multinational corporations (MNC).

Mr Teo said: "Apart from being a platform for talent and companies to connect, we are deeply committed to providing the tools and skill upgrading needed to ensure everyone can benefit from this new world of work."