MOM Sets Up New Programme to Help Mid-Career Professionals

October 27, 201711:00 am796 views

New initiative named as Professional Conversion Programmes (PCP) aims to help mid-career workers gear up for new jobs in the professional services sector. The programmes will be beneficial for those working in the fields of internal audit, consulting, and programmatic advertising, said Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo on Tuesday (Oct 24).

As part of a larger effort to match Singaporeans to jobs in rapidly-growing industries which require higher-skilled workers, the programmes will help mid-career professionals gain essential skills to move either into the professional services sector or into new roles within their companies. Among the professional services sector included in the initiative are architecture and engineering, accounting, consulting, advertising and marketing, design, legal and head office services.

Mrs Teo said that in response to increasing regional demands for such services, there will be more opportunities for Singaporean firms to grow as well. She added that disruption in business models also creates the need for consultancy services, Straits Times reports.

Speaking to reporters at a seminar on attracting talent for the professional services sector, Mrs Teo said that up until now, there are more than 10 PCPs in the professional services industry and some 160 people have taken part in the programmes from January to October this year. About 4 in 10 of these numbers are older professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) aged 40 and above.

She pointed that companies in the sector would value such workers because of their communication skills in approaching and dealing with clients, as well as wide experiences in working on many different types of projects.

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In the efforts for more job support, the professional services sector is one of five priority industries identified by the government earlier this year. The other four are healthcare, infocomm and media, wholesale trade and financial services.

The government focus on these industries because they are likely to be hit hardest by disruptive technology, while at the same time they have remarkable potentials for job growth. Almost a million workers in Singapore are hired in these industries.

Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah, who is overseeing efforts in the professional services and financial services industries, said that professional services has grown into a key pillar that significantly supports Singapore’s economy, as it contributed $25 billion in output, or 6.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2015. Additionally, employment in the sector also grew by 5 percent per year on average between 2011 and 2015.

Ms Indranee said the sector is being disrupted by technological innovation and digital business models, so the companies and workers alike need to adapt to the changes, she said at the seminar on Tuesday organised by Workforce Singapore and the Singapore National Employers Federation. For example, advertising companies now need staff with the skills to handle tasks in programmatic advertising. This field involves the use of algorithms to purchase and sell targeted advertising space.

Furthermore, she said her workgroup will focus on getting relevant information to jobseekers, addressing skills gaps through training, as well as job matching. She also suggested employers to partner with the government in these efforts and urged them to be open to hire older workers and those who are learning new skills for the new jobs.

“If we can ramp up our efforts to help workers adapt and grow, the workers will be able to benefit from the new job opportunities being created and at the same time address the talent needs of the companies,” she told about 150 company officials at the event held at Royal Plaza on Scotts.

Speaking to reporters after the event, Ms Indranee said the Government will work closely with industry associations to tailor help for various segments within the professional services sector, such as by addressing their manpower and training needs through PCPs and university modules.

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