More retrenched PMEs seeking help: NTUC

More than 500 professionals, managers and executives sought help for employment in the past year, according to NTUC
More than 500 professionals, managers and executives sought help for employment in the past year, according to NTUCPHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE- More than 500 professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) - of which 23 per cent were below 40 - sought help for employment and employability matters from the labour movement in the past year.

From last March to February this year, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) helped 518 PMEs who were retrenched or terminated from their jobs, a more than 50 per cent jump from the 253 it attended to in the previous year.

NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Patrick Tay said he foresees PMEs retrenchment becoming more prevalent with the current turbulent economic situation.

"With an ageing workforce, it is also worrying that PMEs above 40 years of age appear to be more susceptible to redundancies and unemployment," Mr Tay said at a media briefing on Thursday (March 17) at the NTUC Centre.

Currently, measures such as the Career Support Programme (CSP) are in place to encourage companies to hire mature PMEs.

The CSP provides subsidies to employers who hire PMEs above age 40, who have been unemployed for at least six months for jobs with salaries of $4,000 and above.

As part of its wishlist for the upcoming Budget later this month, the NTUC said that it is proposing to extend the CSP to cover all PMEs who are retrenched, regardless of their age, or the length of time they have been unemployed.

It also hopes to increase the amount of subsidies to make the programme more attractive to businesses.

xueqiang@sph.com.sg