Gear up for good times by transforming now, firms urged

February 4, 201610:58 am318 views

Noting the “healthy” job vacancy situation, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say yesterday nevertheless urged companies to hasten their transformation amid the current economic uncertainty, in order to become more competitive when better times return.

“As we go through this uncertain period … don’t slow down the process of transformation. In fact, this uncertain time is the best time for you to speed up transformation, so that by the time … the fear of uncertainty is over, hopefully you are ready to compete, adopting a new business model,” he said on the sidelines of the official opening of a homegrown pest control company’s operations command centre.

Data released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) last week showed that for full-time employed citizens, the median monthly income, inclusive of employer Central Provident Fund contributions, rose 7 per cent in real terms to S$3,798 in June last year.

On the increase in median wage, Mr Lim said that, based on the job and wage profiles of Singaporean workers, the overall quality of jobs was getting higher. He noted that last year, many part-timers left the labour market while at the same time, more people joined the workforce on a full-time basis. Coupled with the tight labour market, median wage has gone up as a result. “We hope that moving ahead into the future … these two forces can be sustained. In other words, we need to make sure that there are enough jobs to keep the labour market tight, and at the same time, continue to shift towards better quality jobs,” Mr Lim said.

Commenting on the MOM’s job vacancies report for last year, which was released yesterday, Mr Lim underlined the quality of the jobs available that were spread across all sectors — about 42 per cent of the openings were for professionals, managers, executives and technicians.

Given a mismatch in terms of what employers are looking for and the skills and experience that jobseekers have, Mr Lim said the SkillsFuture initiative will equip PMETs with the necessary skills.

Since last October, the Government has also rolled out the Career Support Programme to encourage employers to consider hiring older Singaporean professionals, managers and executives. Under a pilot that would run for two years, the Government will foot part of the payroll of these workers for one year. Referring to the programme, Mr Lim said MOM would like to “do more with the industry, and to take in the PMETs, even if some of them may not have the necessary experience and expertise”. “So the idea is to take them in and then we grow together,” he said.

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