SINGAPORE - Madam Vera Yeo, 47, was at Raffles Place to lunch with a friend on Monday (Oct 30) when she chanced on a roadshow on careers.
The former part-time polytechnic lecturer has been looking for a full-time job since early this year, but has yet to succeed owing to the competitive market.
At the roadshow at Chevron House, organised by statutory board Workforce Singapore (WSG), she spoke with a career coach who encouraged her not to give up.
"He told me about his job search, which helped me to feel I'm not alone and more optimistic," she said, adding that she has applied for jobs in marketing and communications which she had taught at poly.
The roadshow, which runs until Wednesday, provides career guidance and information about WSG's Adapt and Grow schemes.
These include professional conversion programmes which help mid-career professionals convert their skills for new jobs; the Career Support Programme for older or long-term unemployed professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs); and work trials.
The Adapt and Grow initiative was launched by Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say in 2016 to help guide and match Singaporeans to opportunities for good careers.
In the first half of this year, about 11,500 Singaporeans have found jobs through the programmes, Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo disclosed on Monday. Last year, it was a tad higher, at 11,600.
About half of the 11,500 were aged 40 and older, she said, adding that the number of PMETs helped has risen by 50 per cent compared with the first half of last year.
More than 6,100 PMETs were placed in new jobs through Adapt and Grow programmes in the six months of this year, up from about 4,000 in the same period last year, a WSG spokesman said.
"If not for the Adapt and Grow programmes, some jobseekers might have taken a longer time to land a job, or not (land a job) at all, and the employers could also have taken a longer time to fill their vacancies," Mrs Teo told reporters at the roadshow.
Latest government figures indicate the job market is recovering slowly in the third quarter, with lower unemployment for Singaporeans and slightly fewer retrenchments than in the previous quarter.
Mrs Teo also said the programmes are being expanded, citing the increased number of professional conversion programmes being added this year.
As of June this year, there were 87 such schemes across 34 sectors, up from 37 schemes across 18 sectors a year ago. These have helped more than 1,500 people in the first half of this year, up from 600 people in the same period last year.
In all, about 50,000 people have attended WSG's Adapt and Grow events in the first half of this year, which include roadshows and career fairs.
Visitors to the Raffles Place roadshow can get professional advice from career coaches, learn about programmes they can use to switch careers or pick up new skills, and find out how to use the national Jobs Bank in their job search.