10,000 get helping hand to secure jobs

PHOTO: Straits Times

About 10,000 job seekers landed a job in the first half of this year after seeking help from career and training bodies of the Government and labour movement.

About 4,000 of them are professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) while 6,000 are rank and file workers, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said yesterday.

They found work through the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).

These workers make up two-thirds of the 15,000 job seekers that WDA and e2i helped through their career centres and the new Adapt and Grow support programmes, he told Parliament.

Mr Lim noted that improvements made to employment assistance schemes, such as the professional conversion and career support programmes, as well as the increased number of job fairs and career workshops run by the two agencies, helped the 10,000 find employment.

He gave the update to MP Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC) who had asked about the effectiveness of support schemes in helping Singaporeans, particularly higher-skilled workers, get a job.

Layoffs are rising.

About 5,500 workers were let go in the second quarter of this year, almost 70 per cent more than in the same period last year.

Said Mr Lim: "The Government will continue to monitor the economic and labour market situation closely, and expand employment support to our workers proactively as we go through this period of not just cyclical uncertainty, but structural transition too."

He also said the transformation of WDA into a new statutory board called Workforce Singapore (WSG) in the coming months will provide more help for more Singaporeans to manage career transitions throughout their lives.

"WSG will also support tripartite efforts to transform our industries and strengthen the Singaporean core in all major sectors.

"We believe this is the best way to position Singapore for growth and to create better jobs for our people," he added.

A Bill to form WSG is scheduled for debate today.

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