MOM: Tight labour market to benefit Singapore's fresh graduates

Government outlines its efforts to address skills mismatches in the workforce

MOM: Tight labour market to benefit Singapore's fresh graduates

Fresh graduates in Singapore are expected to benefit in the city-state's tight labour market, according to Manpower Minister Tan See Leng on Wednesday.

He made the remarks as the latest Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey revealed that the employment rates for graduates slightly dipped to 89.6% in 2023.

But this figure remains higher than the pre-COVID levels in 2019, the minister noted.

"Overall, a tight labour market should benefit graduates in their job search, meaning less difficulties in seeking out full-time employment with a good job fit," he added. "Furthermore, graduates also saw an increase in starting salaries compared to the year before."

Skills mismatches

Singapore is currently seeing "considerable mismatches" between jobs being created and the skills and experiences of those without work, according to Callam Pickering, senior APAC economist from Indeed.

This is reflected in industries that have little employment gains since the pandemic, he added.

Tan said the government is working closely with the Autonomous Universities (AUs) to ensure that the supply of graduates considers industry demand, and that they are equipped with industry-relevant skills.

"AUs conduct regular reviews of course curricula, incorporating feedback from economic agencies and industry," Tan said. "AUs have also worked with employers to provide meaningful internships for students as important components for many of their courses."

Tripartite effort to help graduates

The tripartite partners have also launched the National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning, which helps employers build workplace learning capabilities and raise the quality of internships that they provide to students, according to the minister.

Graduates can also reach out to Workforce Singapore and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) for career advisory and one-on-one coaching at their centres.

The NTUC and the Singapore National Employers Federation also piloted the Career Starter Lab in 2023 to facilitate career trials, structured workplace attachments, and mentorship for youths.

"These initiatives help youths gain more clarity about job fit, pick up relevant skills and find jobs that match their competencies and aspirations," Tan said.

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