WHEN he found out he was about to lose his job assembling hard disks last November, Mr Dharmarajan Dharnaraj, 54, was afraid he would not be able to support his family of four.

"We don't have a lot of savings," said the sole breadwinner, who lives with his wife and daughter in a five-room flat in Bukit Batok. His son is studying law in India.

Frantic, he turned to the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA). It referred him to the Jobs Bank, where he quickly found another job - with a $500 pay rise over the $3,000 he was getting at his old firm.

"I was afraid I would lose out in the job hunt because of my age," he said. "Many companies will prefer hiring someone younger, and I can understand why."

But his worries were allayed when he received a job offer from metal recovery firm Remex Minerals Singapore in December.

His new employers told him to start work on Feb 2 as the company was in the midst of setting up operations here.

"At first, I didn't want to take a break because I couldn't afford to," said Mr Dharnaraj, who had been with his previous firm for six years. "But I could relax, knowing that I could still take care of my children."

He added: "I'm really happy I found a job so quickly after being retrenched. The WDA really came through for me."