Friday, 21 July 2017

Five growth industries picked for more focused job help

Drive to match PMETs to jobs in growth sectors facing disruption
Five political office holders to helm efforts in sectors that employ almost a million workers
By Joanna Seow, The Straits Times, 20 Jul 2017

Five political office holders, including a Cabinet minister, will coordinate efforts to match Singaporeans to jobs in industries that hold the promise of growth, but where higher-skilled workers may need help to adapt to the sweeping changes coming their way.

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said yesterday that the five industries were chosen as they were likely to be the most affected by disruptive technology.

At the same time, they have tremendous potential for job growth, he added. Between them, these industries currently employ almost a million workers.

Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo will lead the effort. The growth sectors, which will be overseen by four senior ministers of state, are: healthcare (headed by Dr Amy Khor); infocomm and media (Dr Janil Puthucheary); wholesale trade (Dr Koh Poh Koon); professional services; and financial services. The latter two will be overseen by Ms Indranee Rajah.

New sectors may be added to the list later on, Mr Lim told reporters at the opening of the Careers Connect centre at the Lifelong Learning Institute in Paya Lebar.

This latest move will also help tackle the growing risk of job loss faced by professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs). This group makes up about seven out of 10 residents made redundant.

Mrs Teo noted in a Facebook post yesterday that in the next few years, about half of the 25,000 to 40,000 PMET jobs created each year are expected to be in the five growth sectors.

Already, they employ more than half a million local PMETs.

"Even against global headwinds, these five sectors in Singapore are growing and creating new jobs for PMETs. Our goal is to help Singaporeans access these opportunities," she said.

The five ministers have started working with agencies, such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Economic Development Board, Infocomm Media Development Authority, Health Ministry and International Enterprise Singapore, to systematically identify job openings and the skill requirements.

Mr Lim also said that the Government, employers and unions in each of the sectors will look at how workers will be affected by industry changes.

They will also explore ways to retrain them for new jobs by, for instance, using Adapt and Grow schemes, including Professional Conversion Programmes.

In the finance sector, jobs in areas such as asset and wealth management, as well as finance- related IT jobs such as data analytics and machine learning, are expected, Ms Indranee, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law, said in a Facebook post.

She added that her workgroup aims to more effectively match people to jobs they are best suited for.

Dr Koh, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, said wholesale trade is a diverse industry with an international component, "so PMEs must be prepared to take on regional roles and understand regional market needs".

More help to connect job seekers with jobs was also launched yesterday by statutory board Workforce Singapore (WSG).

It added five new free programmes at its career centres. These include one-on-one career guidance for job seekers and counselling for those struggling to cope emotionally with job loss.

Employers can turn to workshops on writing job descriptions with clear skills-based requirements to attract the right talent.

WSG has also redesigned its three career centres to make them more user-friendly. Now called Careers Connect, they are located in Paya Lebar, Tampines and Woodlands.

Help for those in five industries
By Joanna Seow, The Straits Times, 20 Jul 2017


Singapore's ageing population will require more healthcare workers in both clinical and non-clinical roles. Clinical jobs include diagnostic radiographers and dental surgery assistants, while non-clinical staff include care managers.

Employs: 91,000 workers.

Job vacancies: 2,700 (includes social services). Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) include those for physiotherapists and registered nurses.


Technology has been a gamechanger in connectivity and the way people consume media. Workers with skills in using data and new media are in demand.

Employs: 128,600 workers.

Job vacancies: 2,600. PCPs include those for data analysts and business intelligence architects.


Wholesale trade is a diverse sector that ranges from commodities trading and machinery and equipment, to household goods and general merchandise. It has about 34,000 companies.

Employs: 324,400 workers.

Job vacancies: 2,900. PCPs include that for international trading executives.


Financial advice may be offered by chatbots in the future. Already, technology is automating job functions such as trading. Experts are needed to guard against cyber threats.

Employs: 207,500 workers.

Job vacancies: 3,700. PCPs include that for compliance professionals.


These include legal, accounting and management as well as architectural and engineering services. Many processes like human resource management are being automated, and workers need the skills for new technology.

Employs: 247,100 workers.

Job vacancies: 2,600. PCPs include that for professional services executives.

Peer support and career coach help in job switch
By Joanna Seow, The Straits Times, 20 Jul 2017

After 20 years of being a product engineer in manufacturing, Mr Chong Choon Yew felt a strong urge to switch to social work.

The passion to do good had been growing in him for 10 years, since he began volunteering at Buddhist foundation Tzu Chi Singapore.

Also, he struggled to balance work and family as he had to be on standby every weekend.

In April,the 45-year-old father of a 13-year-old boy quit his job and went in search of work in the social services sector.

But without relevant professional experience, his three- month search led nowhere until a career coach with Workforce Singapore (WSG) advised him to include his volunteer experience in his resume.

Coupled with help from another WSG career coach, Mr Chong passed an interview to be a care coordinator at the North East Community Development Council, where he will manage a team of volunteers who organise activities for the elderly.

Said Mr Andrew Er, 30, the career coach who helped Mr Chong improve his interview skills: "Mr Chong's years of volunteer experience are valuable in his new job."

As a Tzu Chi volunteer, Mr Chong would visit families on financial aid to assess their situation. He also set up recycling centres for residents.

Mr Chong said: "I am grateful for this new opportunity. I hope my passion will help me in my new role, and I plan to upgrade myself along the way."

He also gave credit to WSG's new Career 360 programme, which connected him with others seeking work in the same field. They would meet every fortnight to discuss their job search progress and share tips.

"It is good to have such support because it is lonely looking for a job on your own," said Mr Chong.

Career 360 is among four new programmes for job seekers announced by the WSG yesterday.

The others include Career Catalyst and Career Recharger, both of which began in April as pilot runs.

Career Catalyst, which gives one-on-one career guidance to help job seekers plan their career goals, has been attended by 150 people.

Career Recharger provides one-on-one counselling sessions for those struggling to cope emotionally with job loss. It has helped seven people so far.

The fourth programme comprises workshops on delivering a good "elevator pitch". In other words, to market oneself effectively in the amount of time it takes for a ride in a lift.

The programmes are free.

Meanwhile, WSG's Careers Connect centre at the Lifelong Learning Institute in Paya Lebar has been redesigned, with rooms for job interviews and 20 desktop computers for job seekers to access online career resources.

The opening hours of a lobby area with computer terminals and information on jobs in demand will be extended. It will be open from 7am to 10pm, instead of 9am to 5pm.

The Tampines and Woodlands Careers Connect centres have also been redesigned to be more user-friendly.

No comments:

Post a Comment