Earlier this week, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced that retrenchments in the first half of 2020 reached a whopping 11,350.
Older Singaporean workers tend to be the first to be laid off during an economic crisis, a ChannelNewsAsia article affirms.
Older workers tend to cost more due to their seniority, compared with their less experienced counterparts. This becomes an issue when companies tighten their belts during a pandemic.
However, six in 10 of Singapore’s workforce is over 40 years old. Older workers, far from being a “hindrance”, actually add immense value to organisations.
While younger workers bring ingenuity and creativity, older workers have decades worth of work experience that organisations can tap into.
According to Harvard Business Review, knowledge and expertise — the main predictors of job performance — continue to increase even beyond the age of 80.
Older workers want the same things as younger workers: a meaningful career that’s stimulating, age-inclusive and has opportunities for progression.
Because of their knowledge and expertise, older workers are also well-positioned to act as mentors.
That said, hiring older workers is crucial for a company’s performance. Increasing cognitive diversity improves the output of a firm, achieved only by hiring talented workers of different ages and experiences.
As a result, employers’ attitudes towards older workers in Singapore have gradually become more open, in no small part a result of the government’s active encouragement.
Government budgetary measures like the Senior Worker Support Package and Mid-Career Support Package have reduced the prejudice against hiring older workers.
Here are seven companies that are actively hiring older workers in Singapore:
Ninja Van is one of Southeast Asia’s largest and fastest-growing startups, specialising in logistics and courier services.
The company has more than 6,000 merchants onboarded and delivers over two million parcels a month across six countries.
E-commerce is booming in Singapore as consumers move to online deliveries instead of shopping at retail outlets, so now is a great time to join the industry.
It is expected to grow by 12.1 per cent annually, hitting a projected market volume of US$3.8 billion by 2024.
Explore available roles at Ninja Van here.
Skyy Design Workshop
Skyy Design creates a range of design services for conventional corporate events, brand introductory launches and full shows in the MICE industry.
The company has in-house designers that create installations end-to-end, from design, printing to fabrication and installation of the completed work. Skyy Design has created work for brands like Adidas, BMW and Magnum.
Although the MICE industry has taken a hit as international roads close during a global lockdown, the sector is slowly opening back up.
Last month, the government announced that the MICE industry would be allowed to hold events of up to 250 people.
Explore available positions at Skyy Design here.
Hoow Foods is a food technology startup innovating “imitation” products that taste like their unhealthy counterparts, but are much healthier.
Their goal is to combat metabolic diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, linked to the growing rates of obesity and intake of sugary and fatty foods
The brand has since launched an ice cream named Callery’s that has a remarkably low-calorie count, tasting just as rich and decadent as premium ice cream.
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is aiming to increase the percentage of locally grown food to 30 per cent by 2030, and the government will be investing S$144 million into research on food security.
Foodtech firms, like Hoow Foods, are among the frontliners developing food innovations in Singapore.
Explore available roles at Hoow Foods here.
Pfizer is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation headquartered in New York with branches in Singapore.
The firm is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and ranked 57 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. Its portfolio includes medicines, vaccines and consumer health care products.
It’s currently a good time to join pharmaceuticals as the industry is booming during COVID-19. The local biomedical industry employs more than 24,000 people, and accounted for 20 per cent of the manufacturing sector, around a fifth of the country’s GDP.
Singapore’s biomedical engineering grew by 19.4 per cent this year, and the country exported US$8.1 billion worth of medicine in 2019.
Explore available roles at Pfizer here.
Principal Engineering Research Scientist position available.
Headed by Maple Bear Global Schools, this Canadian-based school offers education programs utilising Canadian methodology and curriculum.
Its mission is to deliver a student-focused learning system to prepare students for success.
Maple Bear is one of the fastest-growing international education brands in the world. It offers bilingual (immersion) education, and has over 447 schools located around the world.
On top of exploring the traditional education sector, jobseekers may want to consider looking into Singapore’s edtech industry. The Asia-Pacific region currently represents 46 per cent of the global edtech market, and is expected to grow 54 per cent in the coming years.
Explore available roles at Maple Bear here.
Preschool Chinese Teacher position available.
Mead Johnson is a leading manufacturer of infant formula with its flagship formula, Enfamil.
Enfamil’s full product portfolio includes Enfagrow, Enfakid and Enfapro, designed to meet the nutritional needs of infants and children.
The company has launched more than 70 products in over 50 countries, used by millions of parents and healthcare professionals worldwide.
Mead Johnson has a market cap of US$16.4 billion and US$3.7 billion in sales, employing over 7,600 workers worldwide. FMCG products that cater to infant care are a pandemic-proof industry, given that their goods will always be in-demand.
Explore available roles at Mead Johnsons here.
Product Development Manager position available.
Polar Puffs & Cakes
Polar Puffs is one of Singapore’s classic homegrown bakeries, serving halal certified pastries and cakes since 1926.
In the 1990s, the business expanded to multiple outlets and petrol stations islandwide and now boasts Singapore’s winning formula for curry puffs.
The company also gives second chances to former offenders, and has its pastry made by prison inmates since 2004.
SMEs like Polar Puffs account for over two-thirds of all employment in Singapore, contributing about S$200 billion to the economy. As of 2019, there were over 220,000 SMEs in Singapore.
SMEs tend to face high frequency and turnover rate exiting and entering the market due to the difficulty of adapting to new customer demands, but Polar Puff’s longevity is testament to its adaptability.
Currently, F&Bs are making the leap to online-based sales as lockdown measures shut down retail outlets. Helping an SME transit and flourish could pave the way for career progression opportunities, and potential overseas expansions.
Explore available roles at Polar Puffs here.
Warehouse Supervisor position available.
There’s Always Time For A Mid-Career Switch
While new career opportunities are available, retrenchment can still be a deeply troubling and difficult experience for older workers.
In order to relieve the difficulties of retrenched workers, the government has launched several initiatives to aid mid-career workers.
From career guidance, planning for a career transition to searching for a job, Workforce Singapore (WSG) has rolled out plenty of initiatives to help with your career journey.
For mid-career workers, they can take advantage of SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme to gain access to training opportunities at companies and public sector agencies.
Under the program, they can take on a company attachment and receive a training allowance of up to S$3,000.
Alternatively, mid-career workers can attend full-time training ranging from six to 12 months in sectors that can provide job opportunities as the economy recovers.
Trainees will receive a monthly training allowance of S$1,500 for the duration of the training, as well as career advisory and employment assistance as they search for relevant jobs that utilise their newly-acquired skills.
Additionally, other schemes are also available under a SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support Package.
This includes the increased capacity of reskilling programs, hiring incentive to employers who hire local job-seekers aged 40 and above through a reskilling programme, and an additional $500 SkillsFuture credit.
If you are struggling to find a job, you can register your interest in WSG’s Career Matching Services by filling in this online form.
WSG will then contact you to offer job assistance such as sending an online assistance package to help the retrenched get back into the workforce or arrange for a virtual career coaching session.
This article is written in collaboration with Workforce Singapore.
Featured Image Credit: Getty Images