Training schemes aim to help workers get permanent jobs later

Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport Chee Hong Tat (in light blue top) being briefed by Mr Toh Swee Chien (in red polo T-shirt) of SkillsFuture Singapore at a job fair at HDB Hub in Toa Payoh yesterday, along with (from left) MP
Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport Chee Hong Tat (in light blue top) being briefed by Mr Toh Swee Chien (in red polo T-shirt) of SkillsFuture Singapore at a job fair at HDB Hub in Toa Payoh yesterday, along with (from left) MPs Gan Siow Huang, Chong Kee Hiong and Saktiandi Supaat.ST PHOTO: SHINTARO TAY

Picking up skills now will give greater access to jobs during economic recovery: Chee Hong Tat

Training and apprenticeship programmes offered as part of the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package should translate into more career opportunities down the road, said Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport Chee Hong Tat.

Under this package, the Government aims to create close to 100,000 jobs, traineeships and skills-training places for job seekers in the next year through various initiatives, including the launching of satellite career centres.

Some job seekers have expressed concern over the temporary nature of traineeships and attachment programmes during these times of economic uncertainty, but Mr Chee, who is an MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, said such placements are important during this period.

"Jobs are harder to come by now. But when (economic) recovery comes six months or 12 months later - hopefully sooner - there will be more jobs available. And that's when training will allow workers to have more skills to access those job openings and find permanent jobs subsequently," he told the media at a job fair at HDB Hub in Toa Payoh yesterday.

He was joined by fellow Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MPs Chong Kee Hiong and Saktiandi Supaat, as well as Ms Gan Siow Huang, the MP for Marymount SMC.

Ms Gan said it is hoped that companies that provide training and apprenticeship opportunities would consider hiring these job seekers after their placements.

"We do hope these job seekers will be able to pick up new skills, new networks and at the end of the enterprise training, be hired by the company or have a greater network for them to be able to find new jobs," she said.

Yesterday, Mr Chee also announced that an SGUnited Jobs and Skills Centre will be opening at Toa Payoh West Community Centre. It will provide career-matching services and advice to job seekers in the area.

Since July 1, eight such satellite career centres have already helped about 1,300 job seekers by giving them basic career advice and aid in their job search, said Mr Chee.

From Aug 15, another eight satellite career centres will open in the heartland.

Mr Chee said the nature of the economy and jobs had started changing even before the coronavirus hit Singapore's shores, but the pandemic has accelerated the pace of this change.

PREPARING FOR OPPORTUNITIES

Jobs are harder to come by now. But when (economic) recovery comes six months or 12 months later - hopefully sooner - there will be more jobs available. And that's when training will allow workers to have more skills to access those job openings and find permanent jobs subsequently.

MR CHEE HONG TAT, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport.

 
 
 
 

"So we must be prepared to make some fundamental changes to our economic policies and also individually, our own mindsets as employers and job seekers," he said.

"We can't go back to what things used to be and expect that the world will change for us. We have to adapt to this new world."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 02, 2020, with the headline 'Training schemes aim to help workers get permanent jobs later'. Print Edition | Subscribe