Committee of Supply debate

PMETs: More help to retrain, take on new jobs

Two women talking to recruiters at the job fair organised by the North East Community Development Council at Hougang Central Court on April 16, 2014.
Two women talking to recruiters at the job fair organised by the North East Community Development Council at Hougang Central Court on April 16, 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

The Education and Manpower ministries yesterday outlined a range of new measures to prepare students and workers for a more challenging economic landscape. We look at the key changes.

Higher-skilled workers will get more help to adapt to an economy undergoing restructuring, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said.

All Singaporean professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) who lose their jobs and have been job-hunting for six months or more, as well as PMETs aged 40 and older who are made redundant, will be able to get help from the Career Support Programme.

It encourages employers to hire eligible job seekers for positions paying at least $4,000 and give them on-the-job training.

Mr Lim said redundancies may continue to rise and the Government's priority is to get workers back into jobs quickly.

He was responding to concerns from several MPs about how PMETs are affected in the current economic climate.

MPs Faishal Ibrahim (Nee Soon GRC), Chong Kee Hiong (Bishan- Toa Payoh GRC) and Intan Azura Mokhtar (Ang Mo Kio GRC) had asked if there was scope to increase the number of Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) to help retrenched PMETs find jobs in growth sectors.

Mr Lim said new PCPs will be launched in sectors such as chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and more specialisations will be added for sectors with existing programmes, to help PMETs take on new roles.

Rank-and-file workers will also get more help. They can benefit from more place-and-train programmes as well as higher training allowances for those on Work- Trial attachment programmes.

Joanna Seow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2016, with the headline 'PMETs: More help to retrain, take on new jobs'. Print Edition | Subscribe