From Semiconductors to Matchas – A Mid-Career Switcher’s Journey
Words by Julia Chan

How Matchaya and NTUC’s e2i enables mid-career switchers to adapt successfully

Featured photo (from left)- Kevin Chee (Managing Director) and Devin Chee (Finance : Inventory Management Executive) from Telepathic Pte Ltd

35-year-old Devin Chee had been working in the semiconductor industry for more than 8 years before he decided to step out of his comfort zone and explore a new career path in F&B.

As a millennial, Devin wanted a work environment which offered both work-life integration and flexibility in hybrid work. With encouragement from his family and friends, he took a leap of courage to apply for a job at Matchaya, a progressive tea bar serving Japanese tea and matcha-related products under Telepathic Pte Ltd.

Matchaya is a tea company whose core value is people and its derivatives - craftsmanship, passion, and connections

It was via Telepathic Pte Ltd that Devin heard about the Career Conversion Programme (CCP) supported by NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i)*. Targeted at mid-career switchers, the CCP helps them undergo skills conversion and move into new occupations or sectors that have good prospects and opportunities for progression.

*NTUC’s e2i works with industry partners such as Telepathic Pte Ltd to develop CCPs to help address manpower shortages in many industries and to tackle skills gaps among job seekers interested in taking on the available jobs. NTUC’s e2i also connects companies interested to take part in CCP with the relevant agencies and training organisations.

Devin joined the CCP for 3 months while embarking on his new career as a Finance / Inventory Management Executive with Telepathic Pte Ltd. During his training, he learnt the ropes of inventory and warehouse management as well as understood how e-Commerce was integral to the company’s success.

CCP trainees like Devin learn about the entire supply chain, from how premium matcha is sourced from first flush harvests in Uji, Kyoto, to being consumed or purchased by matcha lovers via Matchaya’s six physical stores and online delivery

Recalling the experience during the training, Devin commented, “The training during the CCP period was comprehensive and hands-on in the physical warehouse. I was introduced to the full supply chain of the raw ingredients to the finished products and learnt about real-life warehouse scenarios in fulfilling the eCommerce part of the business.”

“The CCP training taught me how the eCommerce business was integral in the company’s success and the type of customer journey experience to be delivered to customers,” he elaborated.

The CCP training helps mid-career switches such as Devin understand the business better from raw ingredients (Premium Uji Matcha Powder) to finished products (everyday lattes, bakes, ice creams, powders and more)

Devin credited the mentorship of the company’s Managing Director, Mr Kevin Chee, in helping him understand the complexity of the business while being meticulous about how his work responsibilities helped the company.

“It has been a detailed and shall I say the best training programme I have been to! From day one, I was very clear about the roles and responsibilities with a structured training programme,” Devin shared about the CCP’s impact on his understanding of his role in the company’s plans.

Resolving recruitment and training needs with the Career Conversion Programme (CCP) supported by NTUC’s e2i

Devin was not the first employee that Telepathic Pte Ltd employed under the CCP. Telepathic Pte Ltd had previously hired and enrolled its first employee, Wade Huang, as its General Manager and first CCP trainee when the company first embarked on a CCP partnership with NTUC’s e2i in 2021.

To ensure a robust induction programme for the recruits, Kevin placed a lot of emphasis on coming up with a structured training plan that complemented the company’s expansion plan. The structured training plan would also support Matchaya’s business transformation by optimizing the efficiency and effort to train the new hire while inducting him/her with the company’s cultures and values.

Matchaya constantly innovates new flavours and products, such as this year’s mystery flavour of Hokkaido Lavender Soft Serve

“Our human resources department will craft up the expansion plan with me to identify the area of expansion before we zoom in on the specifics of the new hire. With the above, we are able to conduct broad strokes category of the training programme before we allocate the time period and details of the programme,” Kevin explained.

He was pleased with the CCP and support from NTUC’s e2i to help his company hire the positions it needed. “The CCP has helped us identify talents from different industries and refine our recruitment criteria to better serve our company’s needs. It has been a smooth and fulfilling process with NTUC’s e2i as every step of the procedure was conducted with certainty and assurance,” he enthused.

Learn more about the Career Conversion Programme with NTUC’s e2i here.

Learn more about Matchaya here.

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