Help at hand in tough job market
Layoffs rise, fewer vacancies than job seekers
In July, he was retrenched from his first job in the oil industry.
The former engineer, 28, who wanted to be known only as Mr Ang, is one of the 13,730 workers who were laid off in the first nine months of 2016 - the highest in seven years, according to Ministry of Manpower statistics released yesterday.
During the 2009 recession, more than 23,000 workers lost their jobs.
The overall unemployment rate among residents in the third quarter remained unchanged from the previous quarter at 2.1 per cent.
Just before he was retrenched, Mr Ang, who has an engineering degree, took up a specialist diploma on business analytics at Temasek Polytechnic, offsetting some of the course fees with his Skillsfuture credits.
The six-month part-time course gave him a different perspective and that new outlook helped him find a position as a data analyst after two months.
He even earns more now than in his previous job.
Mr Ang was fortunate to have found a job so quickly.
More job seekers are taking a longer time to find a job.
The Labour Market Report of the third quarter shows the resident long-term unemployment rate has risen from 0.6 per cent in September 2015 to 0.8 per cent this year.
There were also more job seekers than jobs for the second consecutive quarter - there were 100 job seekers for every 91 job vacancies in September.
In the third quarter, professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) were more likely to be made redundant.
More than 70 per cent of the 4,220 who got retrenched were PMETs, who make up 55 per cent of the resident workforce.
PMETs were also slightly less likely to find new jobs than those in other occupations.
Central Provident Fund records show that 49 per cent made redundant in the second quarter had found a job by September. In comparison, 47 per cent of PMETs who were made redundant found jobs.
Proposals and schemes to alleviate the retrenchment situation have been discussed.
On Monday, the Workers' Party provided details of a retrenchment insurance scheme it had proposed earlier.
Under the scheme, meant to be a "modest safety net", employers and employees will each contribute 0.05 per cent of the latter's monthly salaries to a fund that will pay a retrenched worker 40 per cent of his last drawn salary for up to six months.
Last month, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say gave Parliament an update of the success rates of the various career assistance schemes.
In the first nine months, 6,400 PMETs found jobs through the help of Workforce Singapore and the Employment and Employability Institute.
To help more PMETs take up jobs in a different profession, Professional Conversion Programmes - aimed to help job seekers learn new skills - will cover almost all sectors by the end of the year and will benefit more than 1,000 PMETs a year.
More than 200 mature PMETs who became redundant were given wage support for the first year of employment through the Career Support Programme, which was first introduced last October.
Mr Ang thinks it is important to stay positive and be willing to change one's mindset, or to learn a new skill.
He told The New Paper: "It's not about your degree or education these days, we need to adjust and be flexible to the disruptions in the workforce."