Nearly 5 in 10 vacancies were for Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) in mainly education, healthcare, Infocomm and service-related industries in 2016, according to findings by Minister of Manpower, released in its “Job Vacancies 2016” report on February 7.
The steady increase in PMET share of job openings from 39 percent (or 24,300) in 2013 to 48 percent (or 25,800) in 2016 reflects restructuring of the economy and workforce. The increase in PMET vacancies was mainly from financial and insurance services, professional services and information and communications.
At the same time, there was a decline in the non-PMET vacancies, mainly in accommodation and food services, construction, wholesale and retail trade and manufacturing. Majority of the PMET vacancies continued to come from the PMET-dominated sectors such as community, social and personal services, financial and insurance services, professional services and information and communications.
The top PMET job openings in 2016 include teaching and training professionals; management executives; software, web & multimedia developers; registered nurses and enrolled/ assistant nurses.
Vacancies were available to jobseekers of all educational levels, with more at both ends of the education spectrum. About one in four of the vacancies required university degree qualifications (13,090). This was followed closely by openings which required no/some formal education i.e. primary and below (12,880). There were also 8,320 openings for secondary and 9,090 vacancies for diploma and professional qualifications.
Among the non-PMET occupations, the highest vacancies were for service and sales workers (11,840), followed by cleaners, labourers and related workers (6,540), clerical support workers (3,160), plant and machine operators and assemblers (2,970) and craftsmen and related trade workers (1,910).
There has been a decline observed in the proportion of unfulfilled vacancies from 41 percent in 2014, to 39 percent in 2015 and 36 percent in 2016. One in two non-PMET vacancies such as service and sales workers, craftsmen and related trade workers remained hard to fill.
In comparison, only about two in every ten PMET openings were unfilled for at least six months. Common PMET occupations which were harder to fill include software, web and multimedia developers, registered nurses and enrolled/assistant nurses.
Employers indicated low pay, long workweek and shift work as characteristics that made non-PMET openings unattractive to locals. On the other hand, the lack of necessary work experience was the top reason for PMET openings that were hard to fill.
The share of PMET vacancies in recent years has risen. It is expected to continue to rise as the economy restructures in tandem with improving skills and education profile of the workforce. Looking ahead, one key priority is to maximise matching between jobseekers and job vacancies.
The Government has ramped up SkillsFuture and Adapt and Grow initiatives, and will continue to strengthen employment and employability support for its people. Singaporeans are strongly encouraged to tap on these programmes to seize new job opportunities and advance in their careers.
Employers should also review their requirements for work experience, so as to widen their pool of prospective candidates. This will provide more opportunities for young job entrants and mid-career PMETs to build up their domain knowledge and experience on the job.
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