SINGAPORE - More than 10,000 employers received help from Workforce Singapore (WSG) last year in filling positions or transforming jobs so that they are more attractive.
This is a 45 per cent increase from 2019, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said in her jobs situation report on Friday (March 12). About 90 per cent of the employers were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Mrs Teo said that around half of the employers that received help were from 10 sectors: construction, education, financial services, food services, infocomm technology and media, logistics, precision engineering, professional services, retail and wholesale trade.
To help meet the changing manpower needs of employers, WSG and its partners have increased outreach activities, expanded career conversion programmes and introduced job transformation schemes.
The ramping up of the career conversion programmes for mid-career hires, for instance, has seen over 1,500 employers benefiting, or a 10 per cent increase compared with 2019, the latest jobs situation report highlighted.
Last year saw about 140 - or about a 20 per cent rise in - outreach events to help employers access a bigger pool of talent. These included virtual and physical career fairs and interviews.
The latest report also noted that more than 35,600 employers actively posted on the MyCareersFuture job portal last year, a 54 per cent increase from 2019.
In addition, nearly 350 employers received support in their job transformation efforts through schemes such as the Job Redesign Reskilling Programme.
The report also highlighted strategies employers could put in place to boost their manpower efforts, as well as the avenues to help them overcome hiring challenges.
For a start, employers should look beyond job seekers who have the full set of requisite skills for a job. They can tap on government training schemes, such as the career conversion programmes and SGUnited Traineeships, that would allow them to expand the pool of recruits, including mid-career individuals.
Speaking to reporters after a visit to Parkroyal on Kitchener Road, Mrs Teo said: "This means not necessarily looking for a job seeker (who) is a 100 per cent fit, but bridging any skills gap with on-the-job training that can be supported by the Government.
"In a landscape where there is so much transformation and job seeker interest, it may be difficult to find a job seeker (who) is a 100 per cent fit."
To get better responses from job applicants, employers can rethink their job descriptions, such as stating upfront the training provided to bridge skills gaps and highlighting the company's culture, including any flexible work arrangements.
Employers can also redesign job roles, so that they become meaningful careers that offer clear progression pathways.
Noting that many job seekers have higher aspirations, Mrs Teo said: "Employers must be able to impress upon job seekers and prospective recruits that it is not just a job, but there is also career progression."
IT services and solutions provider Nibaara Technologies has put in place programmes to train professionals with little experience in niche areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, and hire them as full-time employees.
Managing director Balachandar Thyagarajan said the company believes in investing in local talent.
"This not only improves our ability to retain our workers in the long run, it also helps us overcome challenges in finding people with relevant experience in niche areas," he said.