Article from The Straits Times, 14 April 2017

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Help place PMETs in jobs but continue to strengthen employability

APR 14, 2017
The Straits Times

The move to collaborate with two overseas placement agencies affirms Workforce Singapore's (WSG) determination to tackle the rising number of the unemployed (2 overseas firms roped in to help PMETs find jobs; April 7).

It was reported that two previous pilot schemes WSG ran with two local employment agencies were unsuccessful - with a placement rate of less than 50 per cent, below the 60 per cent of the WSG and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).

The business model of the local agencies could be a factor.

The unrealistic expectations of some jobseekers and hiring managers' discriminatory attitude or mindset towards mature PMET jobseekers also contribute to the challenges.

We have to continue to encourage the mindset shift of jobseekers and hiring managers. In addition, job placement targets and professional fees for the two new firms have to be taken into account. Jobseekers need to find their next pay cheques soon, and we wouldn't want to wait for two years under this new pilot scheme only to realise that we are back to square one.

Efforts to support unemployed Singaporeans must continue. However, we must be mindful of not creating a situation where Singaporeans expect and rely solely on governmental support.

We must continue to build resilience and strengthen our employability to weather the challenges ahead.

Paul Heng

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