Singapore

System of matching vacancies with job seekers to be improved: DPM Heng

Apart from employees being willing to learn new skills and take on new roles, employers need to be flexible in their expectations too, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat

The matching of job vacancies with employees is not a straightforward process, and the system will be improved, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday.

He was speaking to members of the media at construction firm Samwoh Corporation's research and development centre in Kranji, after the release of the latest jobs situation report by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

One key finding of the report was that despite the National Jobs Council creating 117,500 jobs, training and attachment opportunities here - a number that exceeds its original 100,000 target - only 33,100 local job seekers were placed into these roles, leading to a significant number of unfilled vacancies.

"Going forward, I think we need to further improve this matching of job vacancies to job seekers. And this is what the SGUnited Job and Skills Centres and other agencies will be doing," said Mr Heng, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance.

The review includes looking at how the database systems available can be better utilised for the purpose of job matching.

"It has not been an easy journey for people who have lost their jobs. But I'm glad to see that spirit of resilience, that they keep trying," said Mr Heng.

While the process is not straightforward, if job seekers persist in their search, they will be able to find something that fits, he said.

"At the same time, there's also a whole range of training programs... (and) a very good suite of programs to help our people build new skills," said Mr Heng, encouraging workers to make full use of the schemes.

He said that while Covid-19 is significantly reshaping economies and labour markets around the globe, there are growth sectors in Singapore, and job seekers should remain hopeful.

"There are new opportunities if we change our minds about what are good jobs, and be prepared to undergo training, be prepared to persevere, and continue to look for good opportunities," said Mr Heng.

Apart from job seekers being willing to learn new skills and take on new roles, Mr Heng said employers need to be flexible in their expectations too.

Instead of looking for a candidate with a particular background, employers should be prepared to invest in training the new hires, he said.

He acknowledged that it is very difficult to find a perfect fit for job vacancies, so both job seekers and employers have to be able to adapt and adjust as they go along.

Yesterday, Mr Heng toured the Samwoh Research and Development Centre, along with Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo and Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.

The ministers have been visiting companies in various sectors to look at how they are faring amid the crisis and making adjustments for a post-Covid-19 world.

Mr Heng said that during this period, Samwoh has been developing its staff and also hiring new ones.

"The staff are given good training, and they have a clear idea of the skills they need for the company today and into the future."

As the government finalises the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Plan for 2021 to 2025, it will engage with industry players to see how to cater its plans to future needs so that firms here can be competitive, he said.

Employment