More than 500 professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) sought assistance for employment and employability matters this past year at the National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) U PME Centre — a sharp increase from the previous year.
From last March to February this year, the centre handled 518 cases involving job placement assistance, a more than 50 per cent jump from the 253 cases it attended to from April 2014, when the centre was launched, to February last year. Nearly six in 10 cases seen by the centre in the past year involved PMEs seeking help with job placement.
Since its inception in 2014, the U PME Centre has assisted a total of 1,420 PMEs in areas ranging from workplace advisory to career and professional development.
Commenting on the figures, NTUC assistant secretary-general Patrick Tay said the increasing number of cases handled by the centre corresponded with the current tough economic climate.
“Through our interaction with PMEs, we see many facing mismatches in the areas of skills, jobs and job expectation,” added Mr Tay, who is also director of the NTUC’s PME unit. “With an ageing workforce, it is also worrying that PMEs above 40 years of age appear to be more susceptible to redundancies and unemployment.”
The NTUC said that retrenchment numbers are expected to rise amid challenging economic and labour conditions, and PMEs are likely to be hit as a consequence.
As part of its wishlist for the forthcoming Budget later this month, the labour movement is proposing extending the Career Support Programme (CSP) to cover all PMEs, regardless of the length of time they have been unemployed.
Under the CSP, subsidies are given to employers who hire PMEs above age 40 and who have been unemployed for at least six months for jobs with salaries of S$4,000 and above.
news source & image credits: todayonlione.com