Jan 28, 2013

Two-thirds of Singaporeans in white-collar jobs by 2030

Two thirds of Singaporeans will hold white-collar PMET jobs by 2030, up from half the workforce currently, a new population White Paper has projected.

Growth rates of 3 to 5 per cent may be achieved in this decade, but is likely to be more modest at 2 to 3 per cent per year from 2020 to 2030, said the new study by the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD).

To ensure there are enough good jobs to go around, Singapore needs to innovate and restructure its industries even as it improves on its productivity, said NPTD.

In its widely-anticipatedcitipated White Paper, which sets out Singapore's population and immigration policies for the future, the NPTD noted that the citizen workforce will age and plateau beyond 2020.

The paper recommends a calibrated inflow of foreign workers to complement the Singaporean workforce.

As citizen workforce growth slows, the total workforce growth is also projected to slow to 1 to 2 per cent - half the average of the past 30 years.

Given this workforce growth rate, and if Singapore achieves the stretch target of 2 to 3 per cent productivity growth per year in this decade, the country can get 3 to 5 per cent GDP growth on average up to 2020.

From 2020 to 2030, with workforce growth likely at 1 per cent and productivity growth rates at 1 to 2 per cent per year, Singapore will see more modest GDP growth of 2 to 3 per cent per year.

- The Straits Times

May 29, 2012

37% of employers in S'pore struggle to fill job positions

A manpower survey released today has revealed that 37 per cent of employers in Singapore struggle to fill job positions; compared to the global average of 34 per cent.

ManpowerGroup's seventh annual Talent Shortage Survey found that the jobs Singapore employers have most difficulty filling are production operators, accounting and finance staff and engineers.

For another consecutive year, engineers and sales representatives have stayed on the top ten chart as the most difficult roles to fill.

Common reasons cited by Singapore employers are the lack of available applicants (38 per cent) and lack of technical competencies (14 per cent).

When asked what strategies employers were pursuing to overcome their difficulties filling positions, the most common responses were to partner with educational institutions to align with talent needs, focus more on improving pipelines and providing additional training and development to existing staff to fill vacancies.

ManpowerGroup warned that if employers resign themselves to their inability to source for the skilled talent they need to grow their businesses, it will threaten to derail business plans for years to come.

"Alarmingly, employers are less concerned about the impact talent shortages are having on clients and investors, with 21 per cent of employers indicating that there is a high impact while 44 per cent indicate a medium impact on stakeholders," said Linda Teo, Country Manager of Manpower Singapore.

"Employers may not think leaving important positions unfilled is a problem now, but they will in years to come when it will be too late," she added.

She said access to talent is a key competitive differentiator and companies which succeed in this will be those that employ a comprehensive workforce strategy closely aligned with business strategy.

"A successful workforce strategy will identify and solve current talent acquisition challenges, anticipate future challenges and put in place solutions to address them effectively," she advised companies.

She dished out some tips for human resource personnel, such as to hire workers who are teachable, utilising strategic migration, employing flexible workers, engaging in hyperspecialisation, and recruiting within untapped pools of talent like women and youth.

Globally, employers having the most difficulty finding the right people to fill jobs are those in Japan, which topped the survey at 81 per cent.

Australia placed fourth, with 50 per cent of employers reporting talent shortages, followed by those in India and New Zealand, which tied in sixth place at 48 per cent.

Taiwan came close behind in the top 10, with 47 per cent reporting talent shortages.

- AsiaOne

Apr 30, 2012

Unemployment in Singapore up slightly

Unemployment in Singapore rose slightly in the first quarter of this year, amid an increase in the number of layoffs in the earlier quarter which eased off into this year.

Employment creation remained fairly strong, although it moderated slightly in the first quarter of 2012. According to an "Employment Situation, First Quarter 2012" report released on Monday by the Ministry of Manpower, total employment is estimated to have grown by 27,400 in the first three months of this year.

This was lower than the 37,600 in the fourth quarter and the 28,300 in the first quarter of 2011. Most of the employment gains came from services, which added 19,800 workers.

Construction employment continued to register a strong increase of 8,000. Manufacturing employment declined by 500. It laid off fewer workers (800) in the first quarter this year, after its large cutback in the preceding quarter (1,660).

About 2,700 workers were made redundant in the first three months of this year, which is lower than the 3,250 workers affected in the last quarter of 2011, but close to the 2,750 laid off in the first quarter of 2011.

The seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate increased slightly from 2 per cent in December 2011 to 2.1 per cent in March 2012.

Similarly, the unemployment rate rose over the same period for residents from 2.9 per cent to 3 per cent and citizens from 3 per cent to 3.2 per cent.

An estimated 59,100 residents, including 52,800 Singapore citizens were unemployed in March 2012. The seasonally adjusted figures were 64,000 for residents and 57,700 for citizens.

Those who wish to find out more can visit the Ministry of Manpower's website at www.mom.gov.sg/mrsd/publication.

More comprehensive labour market data will be released in the "Labour Market Report, First Quarter 2012" on 15 June 2012. - AsiaOne

Apr 27, 2012

New job portal launched for professionals, managers, and executives

A new job portal was launched on Friday by Robert Walters and Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

The PME (professionals, managers and executives) Jobs Network - which involves both the private and public sectors - was created to increase access to job opportunities, training and career paths.

Users can gauge their medium-term employment outlook using the portal, which draws information from MOM's Career Compass.

Career Compass collects information from various government agencies and highlights manpower demand in key industries. It also provides other relevant information such as employment conditions and wages.

The PME Jobs Network will also feature insights on the private sector. Robert Walters, a professional recruitment consultancy, will contribute insight on industry trends, salary levels and market updates.

These include the Asia Job Index, the annual Salary Index and Executive Insights which will be featured on the website.

Mr Lee Ark Boon, divisional director at MOM's Manpower Planning and Policy division, said: 'The PME Jobs Network provides Singaporeans with access to the latest PME jobs and information on training pathways. By bringing together the strengths of MOM and Robert Walters, we hope to give job seekers useful and timely industry and job-market intelligence as they grow their careers.'

He added: 'The accessibility to such information will further enhance the efficiency of our labour market.'

Ms Andrea Ross, Managing Director of Robert Walters' Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, said: 'We are very proud to collaborate with the Ministry of Manpower for the first time.

Robert Walters aims to provide our expertise as one of the leading professional recruitment consultancies to help busy professionals stay abreast of current job trends, as well as access our job board for potential job opportunities.'

- The Straits Times

Dec 7, 2011

NTUC's masterplan: create better jobs for all

Creating better jobs and sustaining broad-based real wage increases for all workers - this will be the mission of the labour movement from now until 2015.

The labour movement's masterplan, LM 2015, was unveiled on Tuesday at the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) National Delegates Conference.

In his report, NTUC secretary-general Lim Swee Say noted how Singapore's unemployment rates came down last year, even though the rates "stayed high" in the United States, the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

There has also been improvement in the real wage of workers here in the past decade, although the increase was not as high as in the '90s, he added.

Said Mr Lim, who is also a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office: "To have broad-based real wage increase, we need to have broad-based growth. I agree that we should never go for growth at all costs but we should also never forget the high costs of slow or no growth.

"We can never assume that we will always have enough jobs and real wage increase, as many Americans have found out the hard way and are still suffering from it."

Mr Lim noted that, at a time when unionisation is seen as a "sunset movement in many countries", union membership here has gone up by more than 30 per cent between 2007 and this year.

The labour movement currently has about 670,000 members. The target, Mr Lim said, is to reach one million members by 2015.

Mr Lim said: "Union leaders elsewhere often feel helpless when their workers are trapped in a hopeless situation. Not us here in Singapore. In good times or bad, we are always able to be helpful to our workers and our workers hopeful for a better future."

- TODAY newspaper

Skills upgrading programme for workers in water industry

To develop the capabilities of the water industry workforce, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), national water agency PUB, and the Singapore Water Association (SWA) have collaborated on a new training programme - the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Used Water Treatment Technician Programme - for the water industry.

This collaboration is part of efforts to align PUB's Water Management Certification Programme to the WSQ training system.

This is aimed at raising the water industry's competency standards whilst benchmarking it against international best practices.

The Water Management Certification Programme comprises a series of training programmes that focus on technical skills and capabilities to manage the various aspects of the water cycle.

Up to 200 operator and technical-level workers in the water industry are set to benefit from WSQ training for the water industry over the next two years.

To date, close to S$1 million has been set aside to enhance the manpower capabilities of the water industry.

- Channel News Asia

Citigroup Singapore laid off about 40 staff recently

Citigroup Singapore has laid off about 40 employees in recent weeks, The Straits Times has learnt.

The job cuts, which included senior positions, have come as the American bank on Wednesday announced it would axe 4,500 jobs globally and set aside US$400 million (S$515 million) for severance and other related costs.

The cuts here are believed to have come selectively across its investment bank, markets team and private bank.

A Citi spokesman in Singapore confirmed on Wednesday that there have been layoffs.

- The Straits Times