PMET jobseekers to get more focused career help

Professionals, managers, executives and technicians  comprise 72 per cent of the 11,080 local residents made redundant last year.
Professionals, managers, executives and technicians comprise 72 per cent of the 11,080 local residents made redundant last year.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Local jobseekers will get help in finding new jobs here from two new overseas placement companies appointed by Workforce Singapore (WSG).

These companies will provide free help to professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) who lose their jobs or have been unemployed for at least three months, under a two-year pilot scheme.

A random selection of jobseekers who approach WSG and the National Trades Union Congress' Employment and Employability Institute(e2i) for employment help will be assigned to career coaches from the two new providers.

The first company, Ingeus, has already taken on some cases since it started operations here on Monday at the Lifelong Learning Institute in Paya Lebar, said the WSG on Thursday (April 6). WSG did not name the second operator, which will start operations by end-June.

The firms, which join the pool of employment agencies here, have a track record of working with governments of countries such as Australia, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say first announced the move to bring in overseas providers in March, as part of several initiatives to better match out-of-work people into available jobs.

PMETs comprise 72 per cent of the 11,080 local residents made redundant last year, and have a below average rate of getting into a new job within six months.

WSG decided to try partnering overseas placement companies after learning that about such firms, which provide end to end career matching services including coaching and advice to prepare jobseekers, placement services and post-placement support.

"Such pilots demonstrate WSG's commitment to constantly innovate and test out new approaches to better serve a constantly evolving workforce with changing profiles," said Ms Lynn Ng, WSG's group director for its Career Connect Group.

The providers will be paid based on actual placements made, said WSG. It did not disclose the fees paid to the firms or placement targets, citing contractual confidentiality.

WSG ran two previous pilot programmes, each time with two local employment agencies, from 2011 to 2013 and then from 2014 to 2017.

But the agencies in the last pilot were unable to meet a 50 per cent placement rate, below WSG and e2i's own rate of 60 per cent for PMETs.

WSG said local employment agencies tend to focus on passive jobseekers - people who are in jobs but are also looking for other opportunities.

They are also employer-centric rather than jobseeker-centric, which means they are paid by employers for filling vacancies, instead of being paid for every jobseeker placed.

The two companies in the pilot were among five overseas providers which WSG considered, since it started engaging potential companies in the second half of 2016.

Ingeus originated in Australia and was founded by Ms Thérèse Rein, the wife of former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. It has a current staff strength of 10 here, who are all local and led by operations director Adrian Tan. An advisor from abroad will help with knowledge transfer to the team as it sets up operations.