SINGAPORE - The government has put in place a three-pronged approach to ensure that professionals, managers and executives - commonly referred to as PMEs - can land good jobs, are properly skilled and competitive for the future.
But, as Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said in Parliament yesterday, the number of such jobs available for this group in the coming decade will depend on the new industries Singapore attracts and what is done to restructure existing sectors and maintaining a broad-based economy.
Responding to queries from Nominated Member of Parliament Mary Liew, the minister expanded on the government's three-pronged strategy:
•active courting of new, high value-added industries such as aerospace engineering and interactive digital media - such industries create good jobs that pay well;
•encouraging the restructuring of existing sectors - this goes on especially further up the value chain, which is where higher-value jobs are created;
•maintaining a diversified economy - this provides resilience in employment, but also creates a variety of jobs that PMEs with different skills sets can aspire to.
Mr Tan said, however, that all these strategies are a work-in-progress, and that the type of PME jobs created down the road will continually evolve. He stressed the importance of putting in place a strong higher education system to nurture a strong Singaporean core of talent to fill such jobs.
But beyond pre-employment education, the government is also providing strong support in Continuing Education and Training for PMEs throughout their careers.
Apart from skills training to match industry needs, Mr Tan said that the government was facilitating the employment of PMEs through schemes such as CaliberLink, a one-stop service point that has already helped more than 2,000 PMEs with training and career consultation.
Separately, MP Patrick Tay (Nee Soon GRC) proposed setting up a national "PME Capability Fund" to help PMEs, especially the older ones, to secure jobs. He also suggested forming a taskforce to study the issue of unemployed PMEs and how to help them get good jobs.