11,500 land jobs via workforce schemes

The lunch crowd in the CBD area.
The lunch crowd in the CBD area. PHOTO: ST FILE

Madam Vera Yeo, 47, was at Raffles Place to have lunch with a friend yesterday when she chanced upon a roadshow on careers.

The former part-time polytechnic lecturer has been looking for a full-time job since early this year, but has yet to succeed owing to the competitive market.

At the roadshow at Chevron House, organised by statutory board Workforce Singapore (WSG), she spoke to a career coach who encouraged her not to give up.

"He told me about his job search, which helped me to feel I'm not alone, and more optimistic," she said, adding that she has applied for jobs in marketing and communications, which she had taught.

The roadshow, which runs until tomorrow, provides career guidance and information about WSG's Adapt and Grow schemes - including programmes that help mid-career professionals convert their skills for new jobs; the Career Support Programme for older or long-term unemployed professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs); and work trials.

The Adapt and Grow initiative was launched by Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say last year to guide and match Singaporeans with opportunities for good careers.

In the first half of this year, about 11,500 Singaporeans have found jobs through the programmes, Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said yesterday. Last year, it was a tad higher, at 11,600.

About half of the 11,500 are aged 40 and older, she said, adding that the number of PMETs helped has risen by 50 per cent compared with the first half of last year.

A WSG spokesman said more than 6,100 PMETs were placed in new jobs through Adapt and Grow programmes in the first six months of this year, up from about 4,000 in the same period last year.

Mrs Teo said: "If not for the Adapt and Grow programmes, some jobseekers might have taken a longer time to land a job, or not at all, and the employers could also have taken a longer time to fill their vacancies."

Latest government figures indicate that the job market is recovering slowly in the third quarter, with lower unemployment for Singaporeans and slightly fewer retrenchments than in the previous quarter.

Mrs Teo also said the schemes are being expanded, citing the increased number of professional conversion programmes this year.

In all, about 50,000 people had attended WSG's Adapt and Grow events in the first half of this year.

Visitors to the Raffles Place roadshow can get professional advice from career coaches, learn about schemes they can use to switch careers or pick up new skills, and find out how to use the national Jobs Bank in their job search.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2017, with the headline '11,500 land jobs via workforce schemes'. Print Edition | Subscribe