More professionals are keen in joining job conversion initiative in a bid to make mid-career switches, recent statistics released by Ministry for Manpower suggested. Professional conversion programmes (PCPs) show significant positive responses from local residents, with the number of participants doubled from 600 in the first half of last year to more than 1,500 within the same period this year.
Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said on Wednesday (Sept 20) that the programme is among the Government’s strategies to grow the talent pipeline by digging into the untapped experience of mid-career professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs). While they made up more than half of the country’s local workforce, she stated that about 70 percent workers from this group has been at the great risk of getting laid off owing to technological disruption and changing business models.
However, these digital disruptions have also created more jobs for PMETs as well. Owing to which, the ministry sees the need to tap mid-career workers as the country’s ‘third source’ of talents in order to fill in those new roles. This should be done because Singapore could not solely rely on fresh graduates and foreign labour, Mrs Teo added.
Speaking at the Singapore Human Capital Summit, she noted that the PCP is a valuable initiative that can be used to mine experienced workers from mid-career PMETs talent pool. First introduced in 2007 to facilitate mid-career transitions, the PCP has since been introduced to 27 sectors across industries, including retail and aerospace.
Besides the job conversion initiative, the ministry has also rolled out the Adapt and Grow initiative which provided wage and training support to strengthen the human resource industry. Such programmes are expected to equip potential talents and existing employees with up-to-date skills and knowledge to thrive in their respective field of industry.
Furthermore, Mrs Teo will also focus on the effort to place the right jobseekers in suitable positions in five industries: financial services, professional services, healthcare, wholesale trade as well as infocomm and media. Nevertheless, she understood that businesses tend to prefer ‘plug and play’ their talents, instead of unlocking the talents of their mid-career employees. This means that firms would prefer hiring those with pre-requisite skills, so that they can ‘hit the ground running’, Today Online reports.
Such approach might not be suitable in today’s digitised world where disruption is pervasive, as this means that employers will only fetch workers from competitors by bidding upwards, said Mrs Teo. She noted that current talent pool does not expand quickly enough to meet emerging needs, while the costs for talent acquisition have escalated even when positions were unfilled and business opportunities were not fully exploited.
“At the same time, experienced mid-career local PMETs remain unemployed or under-employed. That is a loss to both businesses and society,” she added.