Govt staging community job fairs to help Singaporeans find jobs
Community job fairs are among the measures rolled out by the Government to help Singaporeans tide through challenges thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Such fairs have been held since this month in Punggol, Sengkang, Hougang, Jurong and West Coast for workers to browse for job opportunities that are as close as 3km from their homes, said labour chief Ng Chee Meng yesterday.
He gave the news at a press conference, held at the People's Action Party (PAP) headquarters, that was also attended by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, and Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee.
Mr Chan gave an overview of the outlook for Singapore's economy, while Mr Ng talked about jobs and Mr Lee outlined plans to help the vulnerable.
Mr Chan noted that the International Monetary Fund estimates that all major economies will be in "a recessionary mode" this year.
Mr Ng, who is secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), said workers are aware of the headwinds ahead.
The impact on workers across industries is quite extensive, he added, pointing out that further retrenchments can be expected, even in more resilient industries.
"We are looking at how to position the workers in the best possible way so that they can either hold on to their jobs, or when they are displaced, be matched to a new job."
Giving an update on the 100,000 jobs, traineeships and skills training opportunities under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package unveiled in May, Mr Ng said the initiative has led to 12,000 job placements being matched so far.
Almost 70 per cent of these placements were in the public sector, including healthcare areas related to Covid-19.
He also said 16,000 opportunities were available at a job fair at the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) last Friday. These opportunities comprised 7,000 job vacancies, 3,000 traineeship positions and 6,000 training opportunities.
"Even at the... hustings, we were working hard to take care of the workers," said Mr Ng, who is leading a PAP team to contest in Sengkang GRC in the general election.
The Ministry of Education, SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore are working with e2i to provide courses for workers willing to improve themselves, he added.
He noted that the Government has provided up to $1,500 in SkillsFuture credits to those aged 40 and older. Under the NTUC's Enhanced Union Training Assistance Programme, union members aged 40 and older will get increased funding for course fees, ranging from $250 to $500, till the end of 2022.
Mr Ng said: "For workers who may be anxious, do step forward to seek this assistance and we will give you the best welfare we know of, and that is a job.
"We don't make empty promises, we don't sweet-talk you, but will give you... the accompanying support to make sure you're taken care of."