The Straits Times
Published on Nov 09, 2012

Regulation will help unemployed middle-aged PMEs find jobs


MR DENNIS Heath ("Over 50 is not over the hill"; Monday) has hit on the exact ageist attitude employers have towards middle-aged citizens.

In my experience, the baby boomers who are worst hit by long-term unemployment are the PMEs, or professionals, managers and executives.

Their skills and experience are going to waste, even in a talent-hungry labour pool like Singapore's.

One way to create a win-win situation is to introduce affirmative action requirements that will persuade companies to hire them.

For example, a company should hire eight middle-aged citizens for PME posts for every S-Pass holder or two permanent residents recruited.

The ratio would help place these older citizens in key management posts and let them form the core of the workforce.

I urge the Government to undertake a survey of unemployed citizens aged 50 and older, to tackle their plight of long-term unemployment.

Priscilla Poh (Ms)