Singapore

Companies continue to hire but at slower pace: MOM survey

Despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, companies continued to hire during the second quarter albeit at a slower pace, a survey by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) found.

Retrenched workers were able to find jobs, even with weaker hiring sentiments, and they did not experience sizeable pay cuts, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said yesterday during her weekly jobs situation report.

The survey of 2,160 Singaporeans and permanent residents retrenched in the first quarter of this year was conducted by MOM in June.

It found that 39 per cent of these workers were able to find jobs by June - slightly lower than in the same period in 2018, where 47 per cent of workers retrenched in the first quarter had found jobs by June that year.

"It was a drop, but it didn't fall off the cliff," said Mrs Teo, speaking at Marina Bay Sands during a press conference also attended by Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.

"We're continuing to monitor this group of workers to see what happens next. But basically, the point to keep in mind is that even in good times, which 2018 was, it does take a while for retrenched workers to get back into employment."

Of those who had found jobs by June, 60 per cent did not take a pay cut of more than 5 per cent, and about half, or 53 per cent, switched to a different industry.

Seven in 10 of them also found a job within a month.

Mrs Teo added that professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) and those in their 30s and 40s were more likely to have found jobs.

So far, more than 1,400 workers from more than 100 hotels and tourism companies have been, or are being, retrained and redeployed to new roles, under two reskilling programmes for the tourism sector by Workforce Singapore (WSG).

The Job Redesign Reskilling Programme for the Hotel Industry, and the Digital Marketing Reskilling Programme for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions, Attractions and Tour and Travel Sectors were rolled out in February as part of Covid-19 support measures.

Employers have also tapped the Enhanced Training Support Package so their workforce can learn new skills, with about 28,000 training places filled, said MOM.

Since April, more than 2,400 job, traineeship, company attachment and training opportunities have been made available by more than 220 companies under SGUnited Jobs and Skills programmes.

About 41 per cent of these are in PMET roles, such as system analysts and marketing sales executives, with many of them being longer-term roles, said MOM.

Between April and July, more than 900 workers found jobs or took on new roles in tourism through WSG programmes.

About 87 per cent were mid-career individuals who participated in career conversion programmes, and of these, about half were aged 40 and above.

Fresh and recent graduates as well as mid-career job seekers looking to join the tourism sector can apply for traineeships or company attachments under the SGUnited Traineeships and SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programmes.

Employment