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Fewer poly graduates employed within 6 months of graduation amid COVID-19 job market disruption

Fewer poly graduates employed within 6 months of graduation amid COVID-19 job market disruption

Office workers wearing face masks are seen in Singapore's central business district, Aug 17, 2020. (File Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: A new survey on Tuesday (Jan 12) showed that 87.4 per cent of polytechnic graduates were employed within six months of graduating in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting Singapore’s job market, down from 90.7 per cent in the previous year. 

Of those who were employed, 52 per cent had full-time jobs, down from 61.1 per cent in 2019, according to data from the annual Polytechnic Graduate Employment Survey, which gathered responses from 7,360 polytechnic graduates.

Jointly conducted by Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic, the survey also showed that the proportion of graduates who were in part-time employment increased from 25.5 per cent in 2019 to 31.6 per cent in 2020. 

Around a sixth of those in part-time or temporary employment were on the SGUnited Traineeships Programme, a government initiative launched in June 2020 to help job seekers find traineeships or attachments with host companies. Under the programme, traineeships last for up to 12 months. Trainees also get a monthly training allowance, of which 80 per cent is funded by the Government.

READ: Government to set aside S$100 million for traineeship programme amid COVID-19

READ: 33,100 job seekers placed into jobs, traineeships and training opportunities under SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package

Compared to 2019, there was no change in the overall median gross monthly salary for full-time employed graduates, who continued to pull S$2,400 monthly in 2020.

Graduates from engineering, health sciences, and information and digital technologies have seen consistently higher median gross monthly salaries over the last three years, compared to all graduates, said the polytechnics in the joint press release. 

"This year’s polytechnic graduates are entering the job market in an unprecedented time. COVID-19 has had a major impact on our economy. We are glad that many of our polytechnic graduates have been resilient and managed to secure a job despite the challenging times," said principal of Ngee Ann Polytechnic Clarence Ti, speaking on behalf of the polytechnic Graduate Employment Survey committee. 

Although the pandemic has been "disruptive", there are opportunities for graduates in the healthcare, infocomm technology, cybersecurity and e-commerce sectors, he added.

"The polytechnics will continue to provide career guidance and support to graduates to help them find a job in the area of their training or pivot to the new job roles that are being created."

Source: CNA/hw


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