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Jobs Bank officially launched, already 16,000 vacancies to fill

More than 4,300 employers and 12,900 individuals have registered to use the website since a trial version was launched in May this year.

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) officially launched the Jobs Bank at the agency's Lifelong Learning Institute on Monday morning (July 14). It is already offering 16,000 job vacancies for Singaporeans.

The Jobs Bank was first announced by the Manpower Ministry last year in support of the Fair Consideration Framework, which comes into effect on Aug 1. Under the Fair Consideration Framework, companies seeking to employ foreigners holding an Employment Pass (EP) are required to post job vacancies on the Jobs Bank for at least 14 calendar days before submitting an EP application to the ministry.

A trial version of the portal was launched in May this year, and more than 4,300 employers and 12,900 individuals have since registered to use the website. About 4,700 users have already made more than 12,100 job applications through the Jobs Bank, according to WDA.

The portal currently offers more than 16,000 job opportunities for Singaporeans, and about half of these postings are targeted at Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs).

Checks by Channel NewsAsia on Monday afternoon showed that most of the jobs advertised on the portal fall under the "engineering" category. This numbered about 844 postings. Others include the admin and secretarial group, with 428 postings. The logistics industry and accounting and audit sector each had some 323 job openings advertised.

The portal is for all Singapore-registered companies and job seekers who are Singapore citizens, who can use this service free of charge. To register for an account, users have to key in their Singpass userIDs and passwords.

Speaking at the launch, Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said the Jobs Banks will complement existing Government efforts and provide another avenue for Singaporeans to explore and apply for job opportunities, as well as allow employers to access a larger pool of local candidates.

"While many employers shared with us that they would like to develop a Singaporean Core in their workforce, they sometimes find it difficult to find suitable Singaporeans for the job," said Mr Tan.

"At the same time, unemployed Singaporeans told me about difficulties in finding and securing suitable jobs. We are creating many job opportunities in our economy, but we need a better, more systematic way to match job-seekers to vacancies."

Recruiters we spoke to say the system will reduce the time spent looking for suitable Singaporeans to fill vacancies.

Mr Adrian Tan, Managing Director of RecruitPlus said Jobs Bank eliminates a lot of extra administration processes. "In the past, we probably have to take 30 to 40 per cent of our time trying to filter out foreign candidates who our clients just cannot consider due to work pass issues."

Another employer said an ad they put up to hire a Singaporean did not receive any response for two months. But within a week of posting the same ad on Jobs Bank, they found a suitable candidate.

Mr Ong Siew Kim, Senior General Manager of DP Information Group called the Jobs Bank "focused": "When we are looking for locals, we are sure that we will get locals."

The WDA also said it has engaged private job portals to "explore possible collaboration", such as making available job vacancies posted on these private portals on the Jobs Bank.

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