National Youth Council and Cr8Studiosg have come together to provide job opportunities for freelancers and creatives, during the circuit breaker and beyond.
This COVID-19 period has hit creatives and freelancers hard, with many losing gigs and jobs.
Thankfully, there are new initiatives like Cr8Studiosg – a collaboration between Creative Nation and the National Youth Council (NYC) – creating opportunities for freelancers to continue working, even from home.
Youth.SG spoke to Hyder Albar from Cr8Studiosg to find out more about this project.
"The whole intention behind it is trying to create jobs and opportunities for people during this period of time, because there are very few for freelancers at the moment," said the 35-year-old.
Beyond allowing creatives to earn a living by making videos from home, Cr8Studiosg also serves as a source of entertainment for people bored during the circuit breaker.
The channel is putting up live videos according to different themes each day: Monday to motivate people, Tuesday for tutorials, Wednesday features people that are doing good work in society, Thursday for tech reviews, and Friday for entertainment – from comedians to music performances.
Cr8Studiosg streamed their first video on Apr 20, featuring local singer-songwriter Joie Tan leading a yoga session.
Hyder, who is also the founder of Creative Nation and Invasion Singapore, started this initiative because he saw the struggles of freelancers unable to find jobs in this season.
"Invasion Singapore used to hire a lot of freelancers – musicians, dancers, designers, videographers, you name it. So when COVID-19 hit, the first thing that started to go out the window was hiring the freelancers, as a lot of our programmes got digitised. This was before the circuit breaker.
"I reached out to the National Youth Council (NYC) and said 'Can we explore doing something together where we build up this studio for content creation?' So when the circuit breaker hit, we got this up and running."
Hyder (top left) and his team members, Insyirah Razin (middle right) and Sarah Lin (bottom right), in a Zoom call with their NYC partners.
IMAGE CREDIT: HYDER ALBAR
The response from freelancers and creatives has been very positive, since they opened up applications on Apr 16.
"Over the last few days, we've gotten about 225 people signing up already. So there is actually a demand," said Hyder, who enjoys playing Apex Legends in the little free time he has.
Even then, Cr8studiosg still hopes to help even more creatives.
"We got sports people, home cooks, even comedians. Basically, anyone that has the ability to create engaging content at home.
"Of course we're not just about to accept just about anybody who is randomly creating something and feeling like they are entitled to it. But if you have good content, then chances are that we will want to work with you, even if you are someone that is not well-known."
It has been a busy season for Hyder and his tiny team of three running Cr8studiosg, but he sees this as a great opportunity to grow himself and other youths.
He said: "I genuinely feel like this is the period of time when if you take the effort to just push yourself and learn new things, you can really come out the other side with a very strong advantage.
"There literally are zero jobs out in the market for an events company, and that's what we used to do. So if we do not innovate now, we're completely screwed.
"Whether or not it is past COVID-19, the freelancer community has been hit quite hard. So I hope to be able to keep on hiring people and creating jobs and opportunities.
"The goal here is to create as many gigs as possible to make sure that there's a continuous flow of opportunities for youths to get employed and better themselves."
National Youth Council chief David Chua said: "It is heartening to see youth stepping up amidst COVID-19 to do their part to help others and create ground-up initiatives to provide those who need support during this period.
"Through partnerships with youth such as Cr8Studiosg, we want to reach out to more young people to encourage them to contribute where they can during times like these.
"During this challenging period, I would like to encourage youth to look out for areas where you can lend a hand, continue to learn new things, and take this time to innovate ourselves so that we can emerge stronger together after this crisis."
BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: HYDER ALBAR