The COVID-19 has badly impacted the job market in Singapore. Many companies have retrenched its workers or imposed hiring freezes.
According to the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore’s unemployment rate rose to 3.6 per cent in September. This brings the total number of unemployed residents to 112,500, of which 97,700 are Singaporeans.
For those who are having trouble securing a job, the Singapore government has just launched a new jobs portal (www.jobsgohere.gov.sg).
It is targeted at all job seekers — from fresh graduates who are looking to enter the job market for the first time, to those who are looking to make a career switch.
Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in a Facebook post yesterday (November 1) that “it links you to both jobs and training opportunities”, especially in growing sectors.
He added that jobseekers who don’t possess the necessary skills and experience that is specific to a sector can still apply and work on developing them.
No job match will be perfect. Employers must take responsibility: be willing to give job-seekers opportunities even if they come without all the required background or qualifications, look to see how their past experience can be used, help them top up their skills, and use the government’s generous support schemes.
Jobseekers must be willing to step into new territory, and develop further on the job. Many have done so, and found satisfaction in their new careers.– Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in a Facebook post
Jobs Will Be A “Central Challenge” Of The Future
Mr Tharman noted that jobs will be the “central challenge” of the future as many countries will likely face prolonged high unemployment.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic is “far from being tamed” and we cannot expect vaccines to be a “quick fix”.
He foresees a “slow and bumpy” economic recovery globally, and possible repeated lockdowns like what we are seeing now in various countries. These will affect Singapore, he added.
However, the good news is that Singapore’s community cases has remained low and he believes that Singapore will succeed “if we all play our part”.
We have to apply this same orientation towards jobs, and more forcefully than ever before. We are putting full energy into this. The government and our tripartite partners are sparing no effort to help Singaporeans who are displaced to get back into jobs.
We also want to avoid, as much as possible, poor-fitting job matches that could mean a significant and permanent reduction in wages, and loss of already built-up skills.– Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in a Facebook post
He further describes the job landscape as a “barbell structure”.
Jobs have been created mainly at the high and low skilled ends of labour market, with fewer jobs in the middle.
With the onset of COVID-19, the bottom end of this barbell is shrinking, he noted.
“A whole range of service tasks is being eliminated by e-commerce, remote work, and the safe distancing and other new social guidelines and rules that we may have to live with for some years,” said Mr Tharman.
This problem is already taking place in several other advanced countries, and the government is working hard to avoid this from happening in Singapore too.
“We must be a place where everyone can adapt to new realities, get support to keep learning, see things improve over time, and make the most of life. I’m convinced we will succeed.”
Featured Image Credit: JobsGoHere