Senior workers ‘can add value to SMEs’

April 22, 201610:48 am643 views

Small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) should consider hiring older professionals, managers, executives (PMEs) who have been made redundant, as these workers bring with them years of experience and knowledge that can be valuable to companies, a senior executive of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore said yesterday.

“There have been quite a lot of PMEs who have been displaced … It is a great time for SMEs to pick up some of these displaced PMEs. Many of them are people who have worked in global companies or Singapore companies that have globalised. They come with very good market experience,” said IE Singapore’s assistant chief executive Satvinder Singh at a panel discussion during an event organised by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME).

“In the upper end, 50 and above, that is the category that we always forget … What we are noticing is, as you grow your business out there, you need fairly experienced people to be out there representing you,” Mr Singh said.

Even though they are past 50, these people are very valuable talent, Mr Singh added. “These are the type of people we should deploy, out there into markets to build your relationships.”

In the latest data released by the Ministry of Manpower yesterday, retrenched workers aged 50 and above took a longer time to find a new job last year, compared with 2014.

Similarly, retrenched workers aged 30 and above also took longer to find new employment.

In the Budget speech last month, the Government announced it will extend the Special Employment Credit (SEC) for three years till end-2019. This will provide employers with a wage offset for workers aged 55 and above earning up to S$4,000 a month.

Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck, who graced the panel discussion yesterday, said the Government is trying to enhance and improve job opportunities for local jobseekers, particularly for PMEs above 40 years old.

“If you lose your job, we have a support programme (Career Support Programme) to help your career and professional conversion programmes … All these things to skill your job differently, skill your professional skills differently so that you are employable, as much as possible,” he said. Angela Teng

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