SINGAPORE: More than 20,500 traineeship and company attachment opportunities have been made available under the SGUnited Traineeship and SGUnited Mid-Career programmes, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said on Wednesday (Oct 14).
More than 2,800 job seekers have placed in such opportunities, Mrs Teo told Parliament. This means about 13.7 per cent of traineeship and attachment opportunities have been filled under the programmes.
The top five sectors which together account for more than half the openings are financial services, infocomm technology and media, professional services, wholesale trade and electronics, Mrs Teo told Parliament.
The SGUnited traineeships programme and mid-career attachment programme were launched on Jun 1 and Aug 1 respectively to help job seekers who are unable to find permanent jobs in the current market.
Mrs Teo was responding to questions posed by Nee Soon GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Carrie Tan and Bukit Panjang SMC MP Liang Eng Hwa about the programmes.
In its eighth job situation report released last Wednesday, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said there “continues to be mismatches in expectations and skills”, according to ground feedback.
It said that majority of the opportunities remain unfilled, as it “takes time” for job seekers to overcome reservations about switching to unfamiliar roles.
“Employers too are getting used to looking beyond candidates whose backgrounds are an exact match for the jobs,” said MOM.
Less than a third of the opportunities created under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package vacancies have been filled. As of end-August, out of the 117,500 opportunities available through the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package, about 33,100 people have been placed into these opportunities.
"Although the focus must now be for the host companies to secure more successful placements, the SBF (Singapore Business Federation) continues to accept new applications by companies to host attachments for mid-career individuals that commence before Mar 31, 2021," she said.
Mrs Teo said the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) approves most applications within four weeks. "How quickly an employer's application is approved depends in part on the comprehensiveness of its submission," she said.
“This is, however, not a key bottleneck right now as there are already many existing openings available to job seekers,” Mrs Teo added.
“After suitable matches are found and necessary supporting documents are submitted to SBF, the traineeship or company attachment can commence," Mrs Teo added.
The SBF has a team of 25 people processing the applications, and it will reach full strength by end-October.
Ms Tan said her concern was about the resourcing available. Given that the SBF staff are processing more than 1,000 host organisations, she asked if Mrs Teo would consider creating a "priority" track for traineeship applicants whose family members are not earning an income at the moment.
Mrs Teo said that while it took SBF a while to assemble the team and process the applications, "right now, actually, the action is really less on the SBF and more on the companies to get this done".
Between January and August, about 44,200 job seekers have been provided career matching services through the SGUnited Jobs and Skills centres, as well as Workforce Singapore and NTUC's e2i's five permanent career centres.
SGUnited Jobs and Skills centres, which were set up across all 24 HDB towns to provide career matching services, have been opened in phases.
Responding to feedback by MP Gerald Giam that some residents have found that the SGUnited jobs package seems to be more targeted at professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), Mrs Teo said he was "incorrect" to think that most of the jobs that have been matched are for PMETs.
"It has actually been easier to match people in non-PMET roles," she said.
"If you are a PMET, you see yourself as having a set of skills that you would like to find the best match for in an employer that recognises your experience and is also able to pay a premium for those skills that you have," she added.
She said that non-PMETs make up most of the roles matched under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills package.
According to MOM's jobs situation report released last Wednesday, out of the about 117,500 openings available as of end-August, 32,210 were for non-PMET roles, compared to 85,330 for PMET roles.