SINGAPORE: In 2017, seven out of ten retrenched locals assisted by the Taskforce for Responsible Retrenchment and Employment Facilitation found jobs within six months, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Wednesday (Sep 19) in a press release outlining the first report card for the Taskforce.
A total of 9,120 locals were retrenched from 1,247 companies in 2017. A quarter of that number took up the Taskforce's offer of employment assistance, which includes services such as job matching.
The taskforce, which was set in March 2016, comprises members from MOM, Workforce Singapore (WSG), National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).
Last year, 90 per cent of retrenching companies paid retrenchment benefits to local employees with at least two years of service.
MOM also said that, with better economic conditions, the proportion of establishments that paid retrenchment benefits by years of service has risen.
For companies that did not pay retrenchment benefits, financial constraints was a key reason cited for not giving pay outs, said MOM.
"Many of the jobseekers that were placed, as well as their hiring companies, made use of WSG’s Adapt and Grow programmes and services to facilitate the matches," said the Taskforce's chairman, Mr Tan Choon Shian.
"It was important that such individuals and employers kept open mindsets and were prepared to accept potential recruits or hiring opportunities that may not have seemed like obvious fits in the first instance."
Mr Tan also acknowledged the efforts of retrenching employers which ensured that the needs of their affected workers were fairly addressed, as well as the unions who gave support to such individuals.
"The Taskforce will continue to educate companies on responsible retrenchment practices, and improve our outreach and assistance to retrenched locals to help them secure gainful employment opportunities," he said.
One of the beneficiaries of the Taskforce is 58-year-old Madam Foo Meng Tit.
She was previously working as a Confidential Officer at Singapore Turf Club (STC). After 38 years of service, she was retrenched when STC underwent restructuring in July 2017.
NTUC's e2i coached Madam Foo in the "dos and don'ts" in job searches, said MOM. She also attended an employability camp to learn essential job search skills.
She was referred to three customer service clerical positions. She took up one of the offers and commenced work on Nov 6, 2017.
"MORE CAN BE DONE TO ENCOURAGE WORKERS AND SUPPORT EMPLOYERS TRAIN WORKERS": PATRICK TAY
NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Patrick Tay said in a Facebook post that the Labour Movement will continue to work with its tripartite partners to "take care of our workers’ welfare, wages and work prospects".
He said: "While the market is recovering, there are still uncertainties, disruptions and restructuring which may result in pockets of layoffs across various sectors
"As we brace forward, more can be done to encourage and support employers to train and upskill their workers pre-emptively and retrench only as a last resort."
He added: "And if they do retrench, to do it fairly, responsibly and progressively. I strongly encourage both employers and workers to embrace future changes and disruptions with the right attitude and right mindset – to see this period not as a challenge and threat but as an opportunity to re-invent, transform so that we stay ready, relevant, resilient."