Coronavirus: Jobs

Companies continued to hire in Q2 but at slower pace: MOM

Survey shows nearly 40% of S'poreans and PRs retrenched in Q1 found jobs by June

Retrenched workers were able to find jobs, even with weaker hiring sentiment, and they did not experience sizeable pay cuts, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said yesterday. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Retrenched workers were able to find jobs, even with weaker hiring sentiment, and they did not experience sizeable pay cuts, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said yesterday. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, companies continued to hire during the second quarter, though at a slower pace, a survey by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) found.

Retrenched workers were able to find jobs, even with weaker hiring sentiment, and they did not experience sizeable pay cuts, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said yesterday during her weekly jobs situation report.

The survey of 2,160 Singaporeans and permanent residents retrenched in the first quarter of this year was conducted by MOM in June.

It found that 39 per cent of these workers were able to find jobs by June this year - slightly lower than in the same period in 2018, when 47 per cent of workers retrenched in the first quarter had found jobs by June that year.

"It was a drop, but it didn't fall off the cliff," said Mrs Teo, who was speaking at Marina Bay Sands during a press conference that was also attended by Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.

"We are continuing to monitor this group of workers to see what happens next. But basically, the point to keep in mind is that even in good times, which 2018 was, it does take a while for retrenched workers to get back into employment," she added.

Of those who had found jobs by June this year, 60 per cent did not take a pay cut of more than 5 per cent, and about half, or 53 per cent, switched to a different industry.

Seven in 10 of them also found a job within a month.

Mrs Teo added that professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) and those in their 30s and 40s were more likely to have found jobs.

JOBS SITUATION IN TOURISM SECTOR

So far, more than 1,400 workers from more than 100 hotels and tourism companies have been, or are being, retrained and redeployed to new roles under two reskilling programmes for the tourism sector by Workforce Singapore (WSG).

KEEPING AN EYE

We are continuing to monitor this group of workers to see what happens next. But basically, the point to keep in mind is that even in good times, which 2018 was, it does take a while for retrenched workers to get back into employment.

MANPOWER MINISTER JOSEPHINE TEO, on the 2,160 Singaporeans and permanent residents retrenched in the first quarter of this year who were surveyed by MOM.

The Job Redesign Reskilling Programme for the Hotel Industry, and the Digital Marketing Reskilling Programme for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions (Mice), Attractions and Tour and Travel Sectors were rolled out in February as part of Covid-19 support measures.

Employers have also tapped the Enhanced Training Support Package so their workforce can learn new skills, with about 28,000 training places filled, said MOM.

Since April, more than 2,400 job, traineeship, company attachment and training opportunities have been made available by more than 220 companies under SGUnited Jobs and Skills programmes.

About 41 per cent of these are in PMET roles, such as conference and event planners, system analysts and marketing sales executives, with many of them being longer-term roles, said MOM.

Between April and July, more than 900 workers found jobs or took on new roles in tourism through WSG programmes.

About 87 per cent were midcareer individuals who participated in career conversion programmes, and of these, about half were aged 40 and above.

Fresh and recent graduates as well as mid-career job seekers looking to join the tourism sector can apply for traineeships or company attachments under the SGUnited Traineeships and SGUnited MidCareer Pathways Programmes.

These include training for roles such as events organiser or planner, concierge, housekeeping supervisor and guest services supervisor or executive, or in areas such as digital marketing, social media marketing and business analytics.

Last month, WSG conducted 50 outreach and engagement activities across Singapore, reaching out to 12,200 job seekers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2020, with the headline 'Companies continued to hire in Q2 but at slower pace: MOM'. Subscribe