Friday, 12 June 2015

Efforts to enhance PMEs' employability

WE THANK Mr Colin Loh Yoon Fui for his feedback ("Tailor job schemes to help PMETs"; June 2).

The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) has available a range of programmes and services to help professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) be adaptable and employable, and to take charge of their career development.

These include professional conversion programmes (PCPs) designed for job seekers to reskill themselves and to obtain the necessary knowledge and competencies to take on new jobs.

Many of these PCPs are offered in place-and-train mode, where PMEs are first hired by employers before commencing training to gain the necessary skills for the job.

Currently, WDA has worked with the industry and partners to introduce PCPs in a range of occupations and industries, in a total of 12 sectors, to cater to a wide spectrum of the workforce. These include animation, childcare, nursing, game design, infocomm technology and intellectual property.

WDA continues to expand this further, and more details can be found on

PMEs, including those who wish to switch careers, can also tap WDA's P-Max programme, which matches them with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

We also encourage PMEs to make use of available self-help resources to access job opportunities and career-related information.

One such resource is Jobs Bank (, which facilitates job matching between employers and local job seekers. Another is, a one-stop portal offering employment services, upgrading courses and programmes, career tips, and labour market information relevant to PMEs.

Those who require more customised or dedicated career or training advisory services may seek assistance from career coaches at WDA's career centres, CaliberLink or NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).

PMEs can also look forward to a number of upcoming SkillsFuture initiatives, such as the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy and SkillsFuture Credit, which can help them stay adaptable throughout their careers.

WDA will be providing more details of these initiatives soon.

WDA will continue to explore new or enhanced ways to help PMEs improve their employability and take charge of their career development.

Patricia Woo (Ms)
Corporate and Marketing Communications
Singapore Workforce Development Agency
ST Forum, 11 Jun 2015

Tailor job schemes to help PMETs

THERE are many reasons why Singapore is still facing a manpower crunch after more than two decades, and why professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) - especially the older ones - are still finding it difficult to land good jobs.

Take, for example, the compliance and audit sector.

Most banks and financial institutions are reluctant to take on people with the right skill sets - for example, in investigation, business continuity and internal control - but who do not have industry experience.

They prefer to fight over the existing pool of experienced personnel. But this is tantamount to chasing their own tails.

Companies should consider those without industry experience, and have some leeway for these officers to pick up the industry nuances.

The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) can play an active role in devising place-and-train programmes for PMETs with the right attitude and skill sets but lack industrial experience.

Most job-hunting PMETs would want to continue to pursue a career in the similarly challenging areas that they had been working in.

I do not mean to belittle any profession, but place-and-train programmes for the security supervisory and physiotherapy sectors, for instance, would hardly be a good fit for a former operations manager.

Some PMETs may find these sectors satisfying if their wish is to step down from their previous hectic careers.

However, once other preferred vacancies are available, most PMETs would leave these sectors.

The WDA programme for Singaporeans wishing to pursue a career in intellectual property will be a good fit for PMETs.

However, I found out that this is not a place-and-train programme but a training course for people already working in the intellectual property industry.

To help PMETs better, the WDA should create job opportunities through place-and-train schemes in areas that are a better fit for them.

Colin Loh Yoon Fui
ST Forum, 2 Jun 2015

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