Amidst massive economic shifts, can Singapore ensure its people stay employable?

MOM lists ways that help employees not only keep afloat, but thrive

Amidst massive economic shifts, can Singapore ensure its people stay employable?

As Singapore forges ahead with its $4.5bn Industry Transformation Programme, the nation’s workforce grapples with the initiative’s birthing pains.

During his May Day speech earlier this year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned of rising unemployment rates as the economy continues to undergo major restructuring in response to disruptive technological changes and rising global competition. While Singapore continues to fare well by international standards, many are still concerned for the economic collateral damage.

But the workforce does not grapple alone. Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say asserted on Wednesday that his office, along with its affiliate organizations, remains committed to assisting affected firms and employees.

Lim cited the formulation of the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) and Skills Frameworks as a collaborative effort to this end. These ITMs will act as roadmaps for the many firms that comprise Singapore’s 23 major economic sectors moving forward.

A number of maps have been launched since the project’s announcement, including a comprehensive manpower plan for the HR industry unveiled last month.

“To minimise mismatches in manpower supply and demand, we have identified and will continue to identify new skills needed for our people to remain employable,” Lim said. In order to achieve this, MOM has spearheaded a number of services:

  • The Adapt and Grow initiative. The Ministry of Manpower has stepped up efforts to help jobseekers get timely information and advice through their career matching services, which not only connect them with opportunities but access to skill training necessary to meet those opportunities.
  • Careers Connect. Workforce Singapore (WSG) recently launched this program to provide jobseekers with an expanded suite of customised career counselling and matching services.
  • The National Jobs Bank. Lim announced that this service will likewise be transformed into an online jobs marketplace to better help jobseekers find suitable opportunities.
  • Mandatory Retrenchment Notifications. The requirement that firms file in mandatory retrenchment notifications within five working days has allowed WSG to proactively reach out to these workers, assisting them as they find alternative employment and providing training to enhance their employability.

“Our approach is to be nimble and responsive as industries transform so as to help workers and companies stay relevant and seize opportunities in the future economy,” Lim said.



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