Parliament: 10,000 job seekers found jobs in first half of 2016 with help from WDA, e2i

Visitors at a career fair oragnised by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency on June 14.
Visitors at a career fair oragnised by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency on June 14. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - About 10,000 jobseekers were able to secure jobs in the first half of this year after seeking help from career and training bodies of the Government and labour movement.

These comprise some 4,000 professionals, managers, executives and technicians and 6,000 rank-and-file workers who found work with  the help of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said on Monday (Aug 15).

This is out of about 15,000 jobseekers whom WDA and e2i assisted through its Career Centres and the Adapt and Grow support programmes announced in April this year, he told Parliament. Besides enhancements and expansions to employment assistance programmes such as the professional conversion programme and career support programme, the number of job fairs and career workshops run by WDA and e2i was also ramped up.

Mr Lim was giving an update in response to a question by Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC) about the effectiveness of current support schemes in helping Singaporeans, particularly higher-skilled ones, secure new jobs in light of high numbers of layoffs.

About 5,500 workers were let go in the second quarter of this year, an almost 70 per cent jump compared with the same quarter last year.

"The Government will continue to monitor the economic and labour market situation closely, and expand employment support to our workers proactively as we go through this period of not just cyclical uncertainty but structural transition too," said Mr Lim.

Going forward, the restructuring of WDA into the new statutory board Workforce Singapore (WSG) will provide more help for more Singaporeans to manage their career transitions throughout life, he added, in response to Ms Foo's question on what additional measures would be implemented should unemployment rise further.

Going beyond helping the unemployed find jobs, "WSG will also support tripartite efforts to transform our industries and strengthen the Singaporean Core in all major sectors", said Mr Lim.

"We believe this is the best way to position Singapore for growth and to create better jobs for our people."

A Bill on the restructuring of WDA is scheduled to be debated later on Monday.