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Master Trainer, Michael Lum conducts free training for retrenched workers on pre-employment skills in resume writing and interviewing skills at his own expense. When Streats comes to know of his community service, it runs page 1 and 3 articles on Michael Lum. When they are aware of Michael’s community service, over twenty organizations, including ERA and Singapore Indoor Stadium, come forward to offer their premises free. Upon careful consideration, Michael chooses YMCA for its central location and its proximity to MRT station in world-famous Orchard Road.

In his earlier seminars, Michael is shocked at the inadequacy of workers in writing of resumes and interviewing skills. Driven by a compassion to upgrade the skills of the unemployed, he decides to conduct free workshops on pre-employment skills so that they stand a higher chance in securing jobs at their next interviews.

Trained as an accountant, Michael later decides to be a professional trainer. He owns a training organization and has been training corporations in the region for the last ten years. As a teenager, he was very impressed by preachers with great persuasive rhetorics. After “A” level, he contemplated joining the seminary. However, economics ruled over emotions and he furthered his studies in accountancy in National University of Singapore. Today he is living his dreams as a public speaker, impacting people and changing their lives.

Participants come to the seminars for networking too. They exchange contacts and form support groups. Sharing common problems with each other can help to de-stress their unemployment plight. Then they realize they are not alone and jobless in this depressed market.

Michael receives many messages of appreciation by SMS, email and phone calls. He is humbled by their kind words that he wants to continue to serve them better by sharing his skills. He counsells some of them and helps them to refine their resumes. One lady calls Michael and cry. She is retrenched on the morning Michael is scheduled to conduct his seminar in the afternoon.

In his workshop, Michael discovers that many retrenched workers are poor in scripting their own resumes. Michael forms a pool of 20 resume writers, comprising mainly of HR managers, to polish the resumes of the unemployed who are not so conversant with English.

Michael is interested in bringing these free workshops across the causeway to Malaysia. He is also planning to train another ten trainers on pre-employment skills so that they, in turn, can reach out to more retrenched workers. Michael has numerous requests for the workshop to be conducted in other languages. He is looking for bilingual trainers who can reach the Mandarin, Malay and Indian workers. Next in the pipeline, Michael intends to train unemployed to be home entrepreneurs.

Mr Lum said, ”There is a large number of unemployed people looking for jobs. However, jobs are limited. The alternative is to be self-employed. The first and easiest step to be an entrepreneur is to operate business at home. I want the unemployed to think out of their box and be home entrepreneurs.”

Derrick Tan, a recently retrenched logistics manager, participates in a free pre-employment workshop picked some useful skills in interviewing. After he applies these skills at his next interview, Derrick secures a job in a similar position. He is among the 2000 participants who attend the free workshops in Singapore conducted by Michael Lum. Michael is very pleased as the result, “If I, can in any way, increase the chances of the unemployed in earning a livelihood, I will continue to train them in my workshops.”

In recognition of his contribution to the retrenched workers, ABC Stout confers Michael Lum the ABC True Hero award in November 2003. One of Michael’s participants, Zenn Wong, nominates Michael for the award.