In recent months, the plight of job-seeking professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) has been attributed to the apparent mismatch of skills ("Mismatch of skills hurting labour market: MAS"; Oct 26).
But just what is this mismatching of skills?
Do finance PMETs lack the skills to work in the security industry, which is finding it difficult to fill vacancies?
It is not sustainable to expect a finance executive earning $4,000 a month to be happy with a $3,000 job as a security supervisor for long.
In the interim, security agencies may be able to fill vacancies, but these employees will always be keeping an eye out for more lucrative careers and/or careers they will be happier in or able to meaningfully contribute towards.
As for trying to help PMETs get into the IT industry, is it realistic to expect a finance executive to hit the ground running with a six-month IT course? A friend who is a former director in the IT industry told me that after leaving the industry for a year, he was not sure he would be able to do coding any more.
Resources can be better allocated and more realistic goals should be set.
Industry experience - and age - may be the real obstacle for job-seeking PMETs.
For example, a retrenched internal auditor in the manufacturing industry may find it difficult to be considered for a similar internal audit position and/or a compliance position in the financial industry because of a lack of financial industry experience.
To solve this problem, the authorities may wish to look at helping companies create internship positions coupled with formal certification, and subsidising an intern's salary for six months.
To show commitment, the intern will use SkillsFuture credit to pay for the courses. This will be a more realistic and effective way to help PMETs.
Colin Loh Yoon Fui