SINGAPORE - More than one in five fresh graduates from four local autonomous universities were in part-time or temporary employment in 2020. As a proportion of the newly graduated workforce, they more than tripled from 7 per cent in 2019 to 22.3 per cent.
A total of 11,800 fresh graduates from full-time programmes at the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University and Singapore University of Social Sciences participated in the Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey 2020 conducted by the four universities.
They were surveyed on their employment status as at Nov 1, about six months after their final examinations.
Of the 10,700 respondents in the labour force, 11.3 per cent had preferred to be in full-time employment. This works out to about half the graduates in part-time jobs. The corresponding figure in 2019 was about one-third of those in part-time work that year.
Three out of four of the graduates in part-time or temporary work in November 2020 reported that they were then under the SGUnited Traineeships Programme.
This programme aims to support recent and soon-to-be graduates to take up traineeship opportunities across various sectors.
It aims to help graduates develop their skills in a professional environment in the current economic climate, while also allowing them to learn more about the industries and become better equipped to enter the job market when the economy recovers.
Ms Gracious Pang, 25, is undergoing training as an art instructor at Artlette Art Studio as part of the programme. The fine arts major had spent almost a year job hunting before she chanced upon the traineeship opportunity and decided to give it a shot.
"After graduation, I couldn't find a job. Then (the pandemic) happened and it became even harder to find a job," said Ms Pang.
The traineeship proved fruitful as her employer, Ms Charlotte Loh, director of Artlette, says she intends to offer Ms Pang a full-time position after the training.
Ms Pang is also thankful for the opportunity as she was able to learn more about the industry, including aspects such as administration and curriculum planning.