Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Words by Hannah Toh
This article was originally published on Youth.sg on 19th February 2019
Teaching youths without paper qualifications web design and digital marketing to help them land jobs.
In a country that places so much emphasis on grades and qualifications, how do school dropouts or disadvantaged youths find their second chances?
This was a question that weighed heavily on the mind of 23-year-old founder of Hatch, Victor Zhu. While working in a fire station during his National Service, he met youths from different backgrounds who wanted to achieve financial independence and turn their lives around, but were unable to apply for the jobs they wanted.
Victor said: "Even though they have the interest and motivation in something, they did not have the qualifications for the jobs they are interested in. So they end up being stuck in certain jobs."
However, after working with several start-ups during his university internship, Victor was happy to find out that there were actually job opportunities available for people who are willing to work, regardless of qualifications.
"It was something that was surprising to me, as I grew up thinking that you had to get good grades and good qualifications, then you'd get a good job," Victor said.
Wanting to help people with low paper qualifications to get hired, Victor started Hatch in August 2017 to provide month-long classes for youths to learn either web design or digital marketing. They are also coached on how to do well in interviews, as after their classes, they are sent to interviews with companies.
The Hatch team of eight core members comes from diverse backgrounds. Victor, a third-year undergraduate pursuing a degree in quantitative finance in the National University of Singapore, invited many of his schoolmates to join his cause. He also recruited several members who are already working full-time.