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24,000 placed under SGUnited package so far; MOM to give weekly updates on job situation

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Manpower Minister Josephine Teo encouraged jobseekers to be open to opportunities which they might not have previously considered, and urged firms to be willing to adjust work conditions to bring more locals on board, as well as consider candidates "even if they are not too young" or may not be "the perfect fit" for the role.

AS at the end of July, 24,000 people have been placed under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills package, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in the first of a series of weekly updates on Singapore's job situation.

Future updates will highlight opportunities for jobseekers and include other key employment indicators such as "cost-saving measures adopted by companies", to keep the public informed, the MOM said in a press statement on Tuesday morning.

Preliminary estimates by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and MOM confirmed earlier warnings that the impact of Covid-19 on Singapore's economy and labour market would be more extensive in the second quarter of 2020, compared to the first, said MOM, adding: "With the external economic environment remaining weak and Covid-safe management measures moderating the pace of recovery in certain sectors, softness in the labour market is likely to persist with continued weakness in hiring and pressure on companies to retrench."

The placements are part of 92,000 committed opportunities curated by the National Jobs Council as of end-July, which include approved places under SGUnited Jobs and Skills programmes; jobs created by the public sector; and private sector jobs advertised on government jobs portal MyCareersFuture.sg. About seven in 10 of these are for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).

More than half of the total opportunities are public sector jobs or jobs that are "significantly funded by the government", including traineeships and attachments hosted by private sector firms.

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Of these government-funded places, traineeships for recent and new graduates form the largest share, with 16,400 traineeship places for PMETs and 1,100 for non-PMETs. There are also 6,900 certified training places for PMETs and 2,500 for non-PMETs.

Of short-term job opportunities, defined as those lasting up to 12 months, more are for non-PMETs: 8,300, compared with 4,400 for PMETs. The reverse is true for long-term jobs, with 7,900 for PMETs and 2,600 for non-PMETs.

The remaining 42,000 or so opportunities are offered by private sector employers. The bulk are long-term jobs, with 26,200 for PMETs and 8,300 for non-PMETs. There are also 6,900 short-term jobs for PMETs and 1,100 for non-PMETs.

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo encouraged jobseekers to be open to opportunities which they might not have previously considered, and urged firms to be willing to adjust work conditions to bring more locals on board, as well as consider candidates "even if they are not too young" or may not be "the perfect fit" for the role.

Initially, the focus was on placing jobseekers into short-term jobs to handle the surge in Covid-19-related operations, especially in the public sector, said the MOM. But the government has since been ramping up implementation of traineeships, mid-career pathways and skills training programmes under SGUnited.

The 24,000 placements as at end-July include 5,200 short-term jobs for PMETs; 8,600 short-term jobs for non-PMETs; 4,600 long-term jobs for PMETs; and 5,200 long-term jobs for non-PMETs.

Workforce Singapore has intensified its outreach efforts, with 59 activities organised in July alone, including 11 walk-in interviews with nearly 1,000 opportunities available. Just over 300 jobseekers applies for at least one job, and more than 200 were shortlisted. There were also 43 workshops and seminars, and five pop-up information kiosks.

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