33,000 local job seekers in Singapore have found jobs and training places since onset of Covid-19: MOM report

They were part of 117,500 new jobs, training and attachment opportunities that the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package created by the end of August. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Despite the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, 33,100 local job seekers have found jobs and training spots through the different government initiatives.

They were part of 117,500 new jobs, training and attachment opportunities that the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package created by the end of August.

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said this on Wednesday (Oct 7) in her weekly jobs situation report, in which she gave an update on the opportunities created under the $2 billion SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package announced in May to curate 100,000 jobs and skills opportunities.

From end-July to end-August, 25,500 opportunities were created, the report showed.

They included about 17,000 jobs and about 7,900 company-hosted opportunities and training places.

Government-funded opportunities or public sector jobs accounted for most of the growth, said the report.

But of nearly 60,000 long-term jobs available, the private sector offered more, at 37,290.

The top five sectors continue to be information and communications, healthcare, professional services, finance and insurance, and manufacturing.

"It's good progress - not just progress in pulling together opportunities, but also good progress in getting people placed into them," said Mrs Teo at a media briefing.

The 33,100 job seekers placed into opportunities at the end of August was an increase of 9,100 from the 24,000 placed as at end-July.

"This will continue to increase as many more job seekers are matched through the selection process," said the report.

Placements into jobs increased by 5,580, bringing the total to 29,580.

Job placements of less than 12 months' duration have fallen to 55 per cent compared to 58 per cent as at end-July.

The report attributed this mainly to the Government's earlier focus in placing job seekers and affected workers into short-term public sector jobs to handle the surge in Covid-19 related operations.

Conversely, placements into long-term jobs have risen to 45 per cent, up from 42 per cent as at end-July.

The report said job matching takes more time with longer-term opportunities than shorter-term ones, with job seekers more likely to invest time in the search process.

Employers also tend to take longer to fill such roles, as they identify job seekers who are best suited, said the report.

The five sectors with the most number of people placed into opportunities so far are: information and communications, food services, professional services, healthcare, and finance and insurance.

The food services sector placed the most number of job seekers into long-term jobs, in roles such as restaurant managers, business development managers and bakers.

The healthcare sector placed the highest number of job seekers into short-term jobs, at 750.

Within this sector, some job seekers have also taken on long-term jobs, such as nursing professionals and dental assistants, said the report.

Sizeable number of unfilled vacancies

However, the report also noted that despite the National Jobs Council exceeding its original target of creating 100,000 opportunities, there remains a significant number of unfilled vacancies.

The report cited ground feedback that suggested some mismatch in expectations and skills.

"Employers should look beyond candidates with backgrounds that are an exact match to the job.

"Instead, employers are more likely to be successful if they focus on candidates' transferable skills and tap government funding support to bridge skills gaps," it said.

It added that job seekers may also be placed more quickly if they are prepared to consider less familiar roles or sectors.

For example, those who are prepared to make a mid-career switch to take advantage of growth areas, or have tried short-term contract work, traineeships or attachments to learn new skills, experience, and networks.

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