A CUSTOMISED programme for mature job-seekers has helped Madam Zohara Hajah, 43, land a job after 20 years as a stay-at-home mum.

She had been worried about her job prospects after not having worked for so long.

'With that long a gap, I didn't know how I should start looking for a job,' said the mother of three.

But the Silver Jobs Fair, organised by the North East Community Development Council (CDC) with the backing of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, eased her into becoming a working mum by offering her workshops on job interviews and computer skills.

Madam Zohara snagged a part-time job as a supermarket cashier yesterday; more than 200 positions from eight employers were on offer.

'It's just what I wanted, and the work hours suit me,' she said.

Seven in 10 job-seekers who approached the CDC for help were aged 40 or older, and looking for rank-and-file positions.

The Silver Jobs Fair was conceived for 100 such job-seekers, chosen from the CDC's database. They were given support before, during and after the fair.

Before the fair, they chose from an array of workshops in areas ranging from resume- writing and form-filling to job interview skills.

They also went for free health screenings to check that they were fit to work.

During the fair, career consultants were on hand to act as translators or to help with queries.

And after the fair, some job-seekers were offered work trials; those who had trouble with interviews were offered further training.

Madam Ng Swee Keang, 66, appreciated the focus on older workers, saying: 'When I call companies, they always ask for my age. Then I don't get recruited.'

Employers at yesterday's fair said age was not an issue - and could even be an asset.

Mature workers are more able to cope with demanding customers, said employer ST Electronics.

North East CDC hopes to hold similarly targeted job fairs every few months.

It has identified professionals, managers and executives as a possible target group.