No need to cut wages, say 6 companies at Tampines career fair

Out of the 1,400 jobs on offer at the career fair in Our Tampines Hub, 280 were for professional, manager, executive and technician (PMET) roles. Other forms of support for job seekers were available from social agencies and organisations which also
Out of the 1,400 jobs on offer at the career fair in Our Tampines Hub, 280 were for professional, manager, executive and technician (PMET) roles. Other forms of support for job seekers were available from social agencies and organisations which also set up booths at the two-day event.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Despite the green light given to companies by the National Wages Council to implement temporary wage cuts in a bid to save jobs, at least six companies that The Sunday Times spoke to at a career fair yesterday said they did not feel a need to do so.

Instead, these firms - from various industries such as food and beverage, transportation and logistics - pointed out that they are looking to hire amid a weak labour market due to the pandemic.

"On the contrary, the Covid-19 crisis has actually brought opportunities for us," said Mr Andrew Sim, who is chief executive of logistics firm J&T Express.

The company is riding on the e-commerce sector which is still growing rapidly, he added.

Mr Ray Law, a recruitment officer from security services provider Certis, said the company is hiring as there is still demand for what it offers.

"Even for the Covid-19 (crisis), (while a lot of) shops may be closed... their products are still inside the shops," he added.

About 800 job seekers attended the two-day career fair held at Our Tampines Hub, either virtually or in person. Those who went to the fair waited in line for interviews while others consulted career coaches or sought guidance from organisations such as SkillsFuture Singapore.

Titled Career Discovery @ North East, the job fair, which ended yesterday, was organised by the North East Community Development Council, in collaboration with NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute.

A total of 1,400 jobs were on offer from 12 companies and 27 retail tenants of Our Tampines Hub.

Among the job vacancies, 280 were for professional, manager, executive and technician (PMET) roles, including positions in customer services and sales.

The other jobs available were for auxiliary police officers, dental assistants, bakers and drivers.

Social agencies and organisations such as Mendaki also had booths at Our Tampines Hub.

Representatives from the Ministry of Social and Family Development's Social Service Office located in Tampines were also present.

These are part of efforts to provide integrated support to job-seeking residents, said Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli at the career fair yesterday.

"As they look for jobs, they are also shown how they can get support for their financial needs and career coaching, even for their families," he added.

Tampines GRC MP Desmond Choo, who is the North East District Mayor, said such an integrated approach would be the way forward for future career fairs.

"It will be very resident-centric, helping them to not only tackle jobs, but (also) provide them with the support while they are searching for jobs," he noted.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 18, 2020, with the headline 'No need to cut wages, say 6 companies at Tampines career fair'. Print Edition | Subscribe