Singapore’s manpower minister is urging companies to make retraining and redeploying staff a top priority in disruptive times
According to the Ministry of Manpower’s latest labour market report, the number of retrenchments in Singapore has seen a slight increase in the past few months, compared to the start of the year.
MOM said it reflects ongoing restructuring and a reorganisation of roles.
However, as transformation takes pace, manpower minister Josephine Teo urges companies to retrain and redeploy staff instead of simply retrenching them.
In her first media interview since her appointment as manpower minister, Teo said in an ideal world, workers will be prepared to take on new roles in the same company, even as older ones are being phased out.
Focusing on redeployment will help companies save time and effort on hiring new people, she added, thereby combating the ongoing war for top talent in the Asia Pacific region.
Retraining existing staff to switch roles may also help firms close any skills gaps within its workforce. This is a pertinent issue to tackle as jobs and skills mismatches become more common with transformation, the minister said.
MOM will be working more closely with economic agencies such as the Economic Development Board and Monetary Authority of Singapore to talk to companies and identify the job roles most at risk of being phased out.
Teo said the government would then provide more Professional Conversion Programs (PCP) in those areas. PCPs used to cater primarily to unemployed individuals but will now focus more on redeployment of employees.
The ministry has identified six industries to focus its redeployment efforts in: built environment, financial services, healthcare, info-communications and media, professional services and wholesale trade.