Coronavirus pandemic

10,000 new jobs could come from ICT, cleaning and logistics

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said yesterday that the jobs must be immediately available to help people who need to get back to work quickly. About 3,000 jobs under the SGUnited Jobs initiative were listed yesterday as part of a virtual career fair
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said yesterday that the jobs must be immediately available to help people who need to get back to work quickly. About 3,000 jobs under the SGUnited Jobs initiative were listed yesterday as part of a virtual career fair.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

The 10,000 jobs being created through the SGUnited Jobs initiative could be in such industries as infocomm technology, cleaning and logistics, as well as the public sector.

Singapore Business Federation (SBF) chief executive Ho Meng Kit said sectors that are still hiring could include security, cleaning, infocomm technology (ICT), manufacturing and engineering.

"These sectors are likely to have a fair share of both permanent and temporary positions, given the manpower challenges with the more severe travel restrictions imposed here and globally," he said.

He added that SBF will expand its SBF ManpowerConnect scheme - which links employers with excess Chinese work-pass holders to those with a shortage - to include helping companies requiring Singapore resident workers.

OCBC chief economist Selena Ling said sectors like logistics may demand workers, as people order more things online such as groceries and food, and electronics.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had said on Thursday, when he announced the initiative, that the public sector will take the lead in speeding up hiring plans for roles in emerging areas, recruiting for long-term roles in essential services and offering temporary jobs to handle the increase in Covid-19-related operations.

The jobs must be immediately available to help people who need to get back to work quickly, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said yesterday. About 3,000 jobs under the initiative were listed yesterday as part of a virtual career fair at SGUnitedJobs.gov.sg

As of 4pm yesterday, almost 1,500 job applications had been received, said a spokesman for government agency Workforce Singapore (WSG). Available jobs include customer service assistants, social service officers, relief teachers and ambulance drivers.

About 80 per cent of the vacancies are for temporary jobs of up to one year, said Mrs Teo, adding that the pay range of jobs on offer is from about $1,700 to $5,800 a month.

She said that although job seekers may prefer a permanent role, the initiative helps those who need to find a job immediately as they have children, mortgages, elderly parents or other financial commitments.

Getting back to work quickly also puts workers in a better position to continue their careers when the economy recovers, she said. "Their resume continues to build up (as) they continue to be trained and continue to have relevant work experience."

 
 

She noted that virtual career fairs enable job matching to continue amid the safe distancing measures rolled out to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The situation is different from that of the global financial crisis, where large-scale job fairs could be organised.

Mrs Teo also said the National Wages Council, which typically releases recommendations for wage practices in end-May, will do so by end-March. She said she has asked the council to discuss if firms that implement shorter working hours should allow workers to take on a second job to boost their incomes.

Yesterday, the volume of visitors to the virtual career fair seemed to be greater than expected, as the site was inaccessible to this reporter at several points during the day.

 
 

The WSG spokesman said: "We seek the public's patience and understanding as there has been a very strong demand, and our team continues to strengthen the SGUnited Jobs VCF (virtual career fair).

"Should visitors experience any lag in the meantime, we encourage them to return to the site at a later time, as the VCF is available till April 12, 2020. They may also visit MyCareersFuture.sg to access a wide range of permanent job opportunities."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2020, with the headline '10,000 new jobs could come from ICT, cleaning and logistics'. Print Edition | Subscribe