Singapore still has plenty of tech jobs amid layoffs worldwide: Ng Chee Meng

Labour chief Ng Chee Meng urged those in the tech industry to adopt an adaptive mindset and to keep their skills updated. PHOTO: NTUC

SINGAPORE - The demand for tech talent here is still high amid the spate of tech firms laying off staff worldwide, said labour chief Ng Chee Meng on Friday.

He urged those who have lost their jobs to consider applying for some 400 jobs on offer at the Infocomm Jobs and Skills Fair at the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Centre in Marina Bay on Friday. The fair is open online till Nov 25.

The fair comes after major tech firm Meta laid off at least 50 employees in Singapore as it slashed 11,000 jobs worldwide to cut costs. An unknown number of Twitter employees here were also affected as the social media giant cut 3,700 jobs worldwide.

Mr Ng, who is NTUC’s secretary-general, told The Straits Times: “In the local space, there is a lot of aggregate demand for tech talent… With this job fair, we are trying to help match those already equipped with the skills to jobs that are available.”

The lack of tech talent here means that opportunities are open even to those who have not worked in a while and others who are keen on a mid-career switch to tech, he added.

Mr Ng also urged those in the industry to adopt an adaptive mindset and keep their skills updated as the tech sector evolves rapidly.

About 135 job seekers attended the fair in the hope of landing one of the 400 roles on offer by some 30 firms such as Accenture and Amazon Web Services (AWS). The hybrid event was jointly organised by NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), Tech Talent Assembly (TTAB) and AWS.

The openings cover a wide range of roles in tech firms, from cloud engineers and data analysts to positions in sales, design and human resource management.

Mr Ng encouraged job seekers to tap the courses and traineeships available at the fair to find a way into tech. These include AWS’ re/Start programme, which was launched in June to provide training for tech roles, and career coaching services to help job hunters in their search.

TTAB president Ng Tiong Gee said reskilled workers are important to the talent-strapped industry as experienced workers in tech are hard to find.

Said Mr Ng: “They are not easy to find and they are very expensive. The number of people needed in the industry is going to grow... Where are they going to come from?”

He cited research commissioned by AWS that predicted cyber-security and cloud-related roles would be the top two most in-demand roles by employers by 2025.

Cloud-related roles are sure to be in demand in the coming years, said AWS public sector country manager Elsie Tan, adding that 65 per cent of workers indicated in the firm’s research they need cloud-related training by 2025 to progress in their careers.

Regarding the recent layoffs, Mr Ng said: “A lot of jobs have been changed by tech, so if workers don’t reskill, it will be hard to keep a job.”

Some job seekers at the fair, when interviewed, said it would be tough to switch to the tech sector but that the courses and traineeships on offer would help prepare them for new roles.

Mr Mohamad Ajmal, 41, who works at a money exchange in Bugis, said he was considering the training programmes to help him make his dream move into the tech industry.

“I have learnt some basics in coding but am still not very familiar. The traineeship programmes and advice can help make me more comfortable in a new role. I’d also like to find out if the role is a good fit for me,” he added.

A business analyst who gave his name only as Mr Lin, 36, said he was keen to find a cloud-related job, but was not confident he has the expertise as he has had several unsuccessful job applications despite attending multiple courses.

Mr Lin added: “I’ve taken up online courses in data analysis and sciences, but I am not sure if it is enough. The assessments for these roles are difficult to complete.”

About 135 job seekers attended the job fair in hopes of landing one of the 400 roles on offer by some 30 firms. PHOTO: NTUC

Former associate program manager Fadil Ismail, 38, said he turned to an e2i career coach to help him prepare a resume that suited the demands of tech firms.

The father of four, who was laid off in March by a leading tech firm, said he also signed up for a nine-month data training course to keep up with changing tech trends while he searches for a full-time position.

“After seven years at that firm, maybe I grew complacent, thinking that nothing would happen to me. Now that I am back looking for a job, I think some of my skills might need to be updated. So I must keep learning,” he added.

For more on the job fair, visit https://uspur.e2i.com.sg/1122

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