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It is very difficult to get a job when you have a criminal record,

Subin, 34, said in a matter-of-fact tone.

 

ISCOS Subin
Subin, member of ISCOS

Even with his graduate diploma in International Maritime Business, opportunities to be employed full time again was few and far between for the former inmate. He had been in and out of prison a total of four times on two counts of riot and two acts of disorderly behaviour.


The future looked bleak - it would seem unimaginable that the once rebellious gangster would not only rise past his circumstances, but also use his experiences to counsel and encourage prison inmates.

This would not have been possible without Subin’s will to overcome and succeed, or the support of people willing to give him a second chance. For instance, Subin describes his wife as his pillar of strength.

He also attributes his transformation to the Industrial & Services Co-Operative Society Ltd (ISCOS) for believing in him. Established in 1989, the co-operative extends friendship and support to ex-offenders and their families so that they can lead meaningful and productive lives.

Subin needed help to apply for a Class 4 Driving Licence so that he could take on more freelance jobs as a lorry driver, on top of his other ad hoc jobs as a stevedore and commercial driver.

Almost immediately, ISCOS put him under its Skills Assistance Subsidy Scheme (SASS) and Subin had his driving lessons partially subsidised. It took him one attempt and four lessons to successfully attain his Class 4 Driving Licence, hence increasing his employability.

For having the grit and gut to successfully reintegrate into the community, Subin was called upon to be an ISCOS Titan to share his life experience to prison inmates and youth-at-risk.

To equip him to share his experience more purposefully, he was coached on public speaking by the Co-operative. On several occasions, he went back to prison but for a different reason -- to speak to the lives of inmates through his sharing.

“It touches me when I see tough inmates breaking down in tears when they hear my story of how I struggled to get back on my feet,” he recalled.

Subin is currently pursuing a bachelor degree in International Business at Kaplan, Singapore.

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