As companies expand operations and many local talents venture into international waters, it is also important for the Government to look at the Singaporeans who return back to their home country. They are not provided sufficient support and encouragement to get started.
Rising concerns on the plight of resident Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs), many of whom are laid-off have harder time finding jobs in the region, said Labour MP Patrick Tay (West Coast GRC) yesterday.
Speaking at the House, Tay shared his experience of meeting a 50 year old PME who had worked abroad for a European MNC in oil and gas for the last 20 years, and had to return to Singapore after being retrenched. He was unable to find a job until a year, until he was forced to take up the position of a Project Manager in Saudi Arabia, Straits Times reports.
“It is important that we provide sufficient support and assistance to those who have spent stints overseas to assimilate and find jobs back in Singapore,” said Mr Tay, an assistant secretary-general at the National Trades Union Congress.
Expressing the need for a programme for all workers to cope with digital disruption, he said Singaporeans should use SkillsFuture Credit top-ups of $500 every three to five years to pursue new courses and acquire new learning from professionals.
Although PCP programmes have been of great help to make workers shift from sunset to sunshine industries, there is a strong inertia among many PMEs to explore new opportunities because of the high-opportunity cost.
Most end up taking entry-level jobs despite their years of experience working for an industry. Mr Tay urged the Government to look at helping the PMEs transit into second careers, adjacent to their previous jobs and capitalise on their skills.
However, to help workers with the transition, it’s required that the workers develop deep core skills as well as broad skills that are transferrable. There should be more focus on Internships and on-the-job training.
Some of the suggestions made, considering the current labour market trends include setting up an inter-ministry working committee to gather information on job demand and supply, wherein the Ministry of Trade and Industry would provide information on new investments and growth sectors, while the office of the Head of the Civil Service will offer an overview of job available in the region with MOM highlighting job losses.
Also Big Data analytics could be applied to study the reasons for underemployment, which will help workers find work quickly, while knowing the real number of people who are actually using skills they are trained for and coaching by the SkillsFuture initiative.
To influence positive workplace culture, with happier environments attracting talent to the company and encouraging them to be more productive and innovative – there could an extension provided on the scheme of Productivity and Innovation Credit to cover the costs of making an organisation more people-centric.
This news first appeared here.
Image credit: ntuc.org.sg