SINGAPORE: More than 1,100 professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) have found jobs through the Career Support Programme (CSP) since its roll-out in late 2015, with the majority being older than 40 years of age and have been unemployed for a long time.
This was disclosed by Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo in Parliament on Wednesday (Jan 10) as she responded to a parliamentary question from Workers' Party Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Leon Perera.
Mr Perera had asked for the number of PMETs that have been assisted under the CSP since its inception in October 2015, as well as evidence that suggest a successful reintegration of these PMETs into the workforce or gaps in the employability of these job seekers.
Part of the Adapt and Grow initiative, the CSP helps to address mismatches in wage expectations and provides mid-career PMET job-seekers, especially the long-term unemployed, with greater opportunities to regain employment.
It provides short-term wage support of up to 50 per cent for a maximum of 18 months to encourage employers to hire mid-career PMET job seekers who have been retrenched or unemployed for 6 months or more.
According to Mrs Teo, over 90 per cent of the PMETs supported by the CSP were aged 40 and above. At the point of placement, more than 80 per cent of those that received support had been long-term unemployed.
Placements under the CSP have “steadily picked up” to more than 800 in the first three quarters of 2017, she added. For the same period in 2016, there were about 200 placements.
The retention rate has also been encouraging among the 2015 and 2016 cohorts, according to Mrs Teo.
About 70 per cent remained in employment within 12 months of the CSP placement. Of which, the majority remained with the employer they have been matched with under the CSP, while the rest found new jobs with other employers.
Apart from helping long-term unemployed Singaporeans, the CSP also helps employers to meet their manpower needs by tapping into a wider pool of mid-career PMETs, said Mrs Teo.
Around half of the CSP employers are small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
But Mrs Teo noted that there are areas for improvements, especially in reaching out to more SMEs.
West Coast GRC MP Patrick Tay pointed out in his supplementary question that a number of SMEs remain unaware of the CSP and asked if the Manpower Ministry will strengthen its outreach.
Mrs Teo replied: “We accept the fact that we can improve on outreach and enable more employers to know more about the help that is available to them. We will certainly strengthen the outreach, especially to the SMEs."
Apart from the CSP, the PMET job seekers can also look to other Adapt & Grow programmes for help.
The Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs), for one, helps PMETs with skills mismatches to reskill and move into new occupations or sectors with good prospects and opportunities for progression.
Mrs Teo said momentum for the PCPs has also picked up.
In the first three quarters of 2017, about 2,700 PMETs were placed under PCP. This represents an increase from 900 over the same period in 2016.