Why are professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) losing jobs?
Based on anecdotal evidence, I believe the main reason is cost cutting by employers due to company restructuring, mergers and cheaper foreign workers.
Perhaps effort should be channelled towards solving these issues instead.
To help Singaporean PMETs, we should - like Hong Kong, which is ranked higher than us in competitiveness - restrict foreigners only to jobs where talent is scarce.
The report on June 15 noted that a total of $40 million a year will be available to fund course fees and salary support through PCPs, or professional conversion programmes ("$14m boost for PMETs to start new careers").
What is the success rate of these PCPs? How long does a participant stay in the new sector? Does he go back to a job that requires his previous expertise?
Do PCP participants treat the programmes as a stop-gap measure? If they do, then I question the effectiveness of the PCP. Employers will also be lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that they can now have a pool of readily available Singaporeans.
It is essential that we have a targeted approach to help PMETs, but extensive research must be done to fully determine why they are losing their jobs.
Colin Loh Yoon Fui