Channel NewsAsia

50,000 openings on Jobs Bank for Singaporeans, PRs

There have been concerns among Singaporeans that not enough jobs are available for Professionals, Managers and Executives (PME) on the Jobs Bank, but the Singapore Workforce Development Agency says more than 60 per cent of the jobs are targeted at this category of workers.

SINGAPORE: More than 50,000 openings are available on the Government's online job portal for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. This is three times more than what was available last month, when the portal was officially launched on July 14. Of these, more than 60 per cent are PME-level positions, which are for those with at least a diploma.

For the month of July, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) said almost 9 in 10 jobs offered a monthly salary of more than S$3,000. More than 4 in 10 offered more than S$4,500, while about 13 per cent are for positions that pay more than S$8,000.

There are no official figures on the number of positions that had been filled. WDA said companies are not required to declare to the agency if they are unable to find a local to fill the position.

Under the Manpower Ministry's Fair Consideration Framework, which took effect on Aug 1, companies seeking to employ foreigners holding an Employment Pass (EP), must provide proof that they have advertised on the Jobs Bank. The framework mandates that companies looking to employ EP holders are required to post the Job vacancies on the Jobs Bank for at least two weeks before applying to MOM for the EP.

One employer Channel NewsAsia spoke to said with the Jobs Bank, he does not need to filter through applications to find Singaporean applicants. He said with commercial job portals, employers spend a lot of time sifting through applications.

Said Mr Ong Thiam Chye, Managing Director at IMG Logics. "Most of the time, when you have 100 applicants, probably 90 per cent are foreigners. And it is very difficult to sort. And these foreigners are not even in Singapore during the time of application."

The manufacturing firm has six employees, of which two are foreigners in engineering positions. Singaporean Pearly Tan is one of the employees the company hired through the Jobs Bank. The business development director says she faced greater competition when looking for jobs on commercial portals.

"There were many applicants, more than 100, for the position posted on the website and it is very competitive, said Ms Tan, who is now the Director for Business Development at IMG Logics. "When I switched to Jobs Bank, it is restricted only to people with Singpass login - Singaporeans and PRs. And the number of applicants for the position was single-digit - just five to six."

The WDA said it will continue to urge employers to use the Jobs Bank.