Five sectors to receive more focus to boost jobs
Ministers to oversee efforts to create jobs and help workers adapt to economic changes
The Government will be ramping up efforts in five growth sectors to help jobseekers, in particular PMETs, gain employment, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said yesterday.
He told reporters at the launch of Workforce Singapore's (WSG's) rebranded career centres that Second Manpower Minister Josephine Teo will lead the charge, supported by four senior ministers of state.
The five industries are likely to be the most affected by technological disrupters, but they also show the most potential for job growth, Mr Lim said.
The sectors and overseers are:
- Healthcare: Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor
- Infocomm and media: Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary
- Wholesale trade: Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon
- Financial services: Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah, and
- Professional services: Ms Indranee
They will coordinate efforts to help the rising number of higher-skilled workers adapt to economic changes and stay employed.
Mr Lim said the Government, employers and unions in the sectors will look at how workers will be affected by industry changes and explore ways to retrain them for upcoming jobs by using, for example, Adapt and Grow schemes.
New sectors may also be added to the list of focus areas later on, he added. Economic restructuring has hit professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) hardest.
But Mrs Teo noted in a Facebook post yesterday: "Even against global headwinds, these five sectors in Singapore are growing and creating new jobs for PMETs. Our goal is to help Singaporeans access these opportunities."
The sectors, which already employ more than half-a-million local PMETs, are expected to generate about half of the 25,000 to 40,000 PMET jobs created each year over the next few years, she said.
CIMB Private Bank economist Song Seng Wun applauded the choice of sectors, noting they are all service industries with plenty of employment potential.
"Where is the growth here coming from? Jobs are created in the services sector, and Singapore is all about the service industry. These five were well chosen," he said.
Healthcare has made "tremendous improvement" in terms of employability, said Mr Song, citing the Government's help with its wages and educating jobseekers on how rewarding it can be.
He also highlighted wholesale trade as an example of a budding job source that can be nurtured.
"We are a hub for trade goods and services, and we need people to use technology to actually learn the processes and do it well," he said.
But the Government must keep in mind that salaries will always be the biggest concern for jobseekers, Mr Song added.
"The easiest way is through their wallets, so the jobs will have to pay well to entice applicants."
WSG also launched five new free programmes at its career centres yesterday to help jobseekers. Among them is a Career Catalyst programme that provides one-on-one career guidance.
Jobseekers can also be linked up for peer support through a new Career 360 programme.