Do more to help fresh grads find jobs

With recent worries over the economic slowdown, I applaud the Government for reassuring workers and businesses that it is prepared to respond should the economy turn negative ("Govt ready to act if S'pore goes into recession"; last Tuesday).

There is another vulnerable group that would need assistance - students who graduate from university during this period of economic uncertainty.

While the unemployment rate has stayed relatively low, many local young people have found it hard to enter the job market.

They may take on temporary work that does not provide relevant experience for them. Others may end up with a gap in their resumes.

This would leave them disadvantaged when the job market does recover, as employers would look at their employment history with much more scrutiny.

It becomes worse when they have to compete with foreigners for professional, managerial, executive and technical jobs.

One solution would be to set a quota on the number of foreign new graduates allowed to seek employment here, especially for entry-level positions.

Another possibility is to encourage more students to seek opportunities abroad.

A recent deal signed with Australia will make it easier for Singaporeans to work there ("Australia: S'pore's future hinterland?"; last Tuesday).

Pursuing similar deals with other countries will help our young people gain international experience and allow them to be better equipped to meet the challenges of a globalising world economy.

Lionel Loi Zhi Rui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2016, with the headline 'Do more to help fresh grads find jobs'. Print Edition | Subscribe