She said Singaporean employers like maids from Myanmar for their patient and hardworking nature. She believes that male workers from Myanmar will have a similar temperament.

Homekeeper is also sourcing women from the same country to be trained as caregivers. The agency will bring in about 60 of them by next month.

Both the male and female workers will be trained as caregivers in Yangon. They will be paid about $500 a month, higher than the average of $450 which foreign domestic workers earn in Singapore.

Most of them are high school or university graduates. But those who are trained nurses will be paid about $800.

Homekeeper has struck a deal with Singapore training course provider Grace Management and Consultancy Services (GMCS), as well as Yangon private school ACM School, to put all the workers through a 45-day caregiver course.

Conducted on ACM's premises in Yangon, the sessions will equip the workers with knowledge on dealing with the elderly and spotting health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

They will be taught in hands- on segments and classroom lectures, and will also learn conversational English and Mandarin.

GMCS managing director Richard Khoo said a team of its Myanmar doctors, nurses and trainers will conduct the classes and ensure the course is up to the mark.

GMCS runs the compulsory one-day Settling-In-Programme in Singapore which teaches first-time maids how to work safely and adjust to life here.

Employers with elderly parents said they are interested in hiring male caregivers.

Shipping company director Serene Tan, 41, said her Filipino maid has trouble shifting her 82-year-old bedridden father-in-law to prevent him from getting bedsores.

"Hiring a trained caregiver will also free my maid up to concentrate on doing household chores."

ameltan@sph.com.sg


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