SINGAPORE - For many young Singaporean job seekers, working at a multinational corporation (MNC) typically ranks at the top of their career choices.
But a programme launched by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Asme) and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency is aiming to change that, by matching local talent with industries here.
The Max Talent programme, which is heavily subsidised, has placed more than 400 Singaporean professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) with SMEs since its launch in April last year, and hopes to help 600 more by the middle of next year.
It is targeting PMEs working in MNCs as well as PMEs who have been retrenched, said Asme president Chan Chong Beng.
"There is a need to change the mindset of locals about joining the SME sector as a career option, and that of SMEs to upgrade themselves so that they can attract and retain local talent," he said.
Part of the programme includes a three-day workshop, which equips PMEs with skills and knowledge about the working culture of SMEs.
It aims to ease the transition for people working in MNCs when they move to smaller organisations.
"Having a centralised job- matching and training service reduces the search costs for PMEs and SMEs," said UOB economist Francis Tan.
He added that the move makes sense as Singapore restructures its economy.
Last year, among the 11,010 workers who lost their jobs, close to 6,000 of them were PMEs and those having technical skills.
SME bosses said the programme would help ease the talent shortage among SMEs.
Mr Sam Yeo, office manager at Jack Metal Industries, said the programme is an excellent way to get talent into local industries.
"Even when I offered to pay 20 per cent more salary, I was unable to get locals to join the firm," said Mr Yeo, who recently put a new hire through Max Talent.