SINGAPORE: More than 10,000 employers from a variety of sectors received help in hiring staff or transforming jobs last year, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) said on Friday (Mar 12).
This is a 45 per cent increase from 2019, the ministry said in its latest Jobs Situation Report. About 90 per cent of the employers that received help were small-and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). 
Efforts to help these employers included increasing outreach activities, expanding career conversion programmes and introducing job transformation programmes to help them meet changing manpower needs, said MOM and WSG.
Speaking to the media after a visit to Parkroyal on Kitchener Road hotel, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo noted that the increase in companies receiving help in recruitment was encouraging.
More attention should be paid to the employers, who are as important to career services as job seekers, she said.
WSG and its partners, which include unions, agencies and employers, placed close to 55,000 locals in jobs, traineeships and attachments last year, the report said. 
The 19th edition of the Jobs Situation Report focused on recruitment strategies as well as how employers can overcome challenges in hiring staff.
Other figures in the latest edition of the report showed: 
– More than 1,500 employers benefited from the ramping up of career conversion programmes for new mid-career hires last year, roughly a 10 per cent increase from 2019;
– A total of 140 events were organised last year to help employers access a bigger pool of talent, a more than 20 per cent increase from the year before;
– More than 35,600 employers posted on the MyCareersFuture portal, a 54 per cent increase from 2019.
– Close to 350 employers benefited from a variety of new programmes started in 2020 aimed at boosting job transformation efforts. This excludes the Support for Job Redesign under Productivity Solutions Grant, which was launched at the start of December last year.
The report noted that employers face “common challenges” during the hiring process, and looked at recruitment strategies that can help. These include investing in skills training, transforming jobs into careers, as well as rethinking job descriptions, said the report.
Mrs Teo said that employers who are willing to invest in improving their employees’ skills are more successful in recruitment.
“Those that are looking for exactly 100 per cent, ‘X’ number of years of experience in a specific job role in a specific sector, in a landscape where there’s so much transformation in job nature and also job seeker interest. I think those kinds of employers will find it very difficult,” she said.
Mrs Teo also noted that while wages are important, WSG’s interactions with job seekers have found that they often have “higher aspirations”.
“They have higher aspirations not just for themselves, but they are looking to belong to an organisation that they consider as doing something meaningful, possibly something impactful to society.”
Companies that are able to impress upon prospective recruits that it will be a career and not just a job will be more successful, she said.
Job postings by companies also need to be articulated well, said Mrs Teo. For example, postings can indicate that companies welcome candidates from other sectors.
“As our economy continues to undergo restructuring, existing jobs will be transformed, and new ones will be created. We will push on with our efforts to help employers fill new vacancies and support them in transforming their existing workforce to meet new needs,” added MOM and WSG.
WSG also announced on Friday that a scheme to help hoteliers train and up-skill workers to take on redesigned roles will be enhanced. This will provide more “targeted support” to hoteliers looking to push ahead in digital transformation, WSG said.
Since the Job Redesign Reskilling programme was rolled out in November 2019, more than 1,400 workers across more than 55 hotels have undergone training and started on new or enhanced job roles such as hotel ambassadors and facility technicians, said WSG.
Under the programme, employees whose jobs are being redesigned due to the implementation of new technology or systems will undergo external and in-house training. Hotels can apply for up to 90 per cent subsidy for course fees and salary support for the training duration, capped at three months.
As part of the changes, the programme will focus on 16 job roles with recommended technology implementation. This will help “further streamline” and ensure a quicker and smoother application process, said WSG.
As a start, the enhanced scheme will benefit 200 hotel workers, said WSG.
“Despite the deep impact of COVID-19, the hotel industry has remained resilient, adaptive and a key part of Singapore’s economy and workforce,” said WSG chief executive Tan Choon Shian.  
“Technological adoption will play a huge part in the next phase of recovery, and we will carry on the strong collaboration with our tripartite partners to support the hoteliers’ manpower and digitalisation efforts so they can emerge stronger and help our workers to continue forging meaningful careers in the industry.”

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