Top 5 Challenges That Jobseekers Faced In Singapore: Jobs Situation Report (18th Edition)

Both businesses and employees were severely impacted in 2020 because of COVID-19. On the back of the global pandemic, the total employment in Singapore dropped by the sharpest figure in more than two decades – as 172,200 job losses were recorded. This is worse than any of the recent crises Singapore has faced.

One mitigating factor was that the bulk of the job losses were due to non-residents, while residents actually recorded a rise in employment.

Nevertheless, citizen unemployment rate remained at 4.5% at end-December 2020, the highest it has been in more than a decade. This itself was a slight reprieve from a high of 4.9% citizen unemployment rate in September 2020.

Read Also: 4 Key Takeaways From MOM’s Labour Market Advanced Release For Q4 2020

As the situation was rapidly deteriorating in 2020, the government introduced unprecedented measures to bolster the Singapore economy and jobs market. This included the SGUnited Jobs & Skills Package, which had the aim to create 100,000 openings for jobseekers, as well as salary support schemes as the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) and Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI).

Read Also: SGUnited Jobs & Skills Package: 123,000 Openings Created; 60,000 Jobseekers Placed; Top Hiring Sectors; And More

With the measures in place, there still remained the softer side of helping jobseekers overcome barriers to getting new jobs. In the Jobs Situation Report (18th Edition), the government spotlights the top 5 challenges that jobseekers faced in getting new jobs. It also reported various ways Workforce Singapore (WSG) and NTUC’s e2i helped jobseekers overcome barriers to getting a new job and accessing opportunities. 

Read Also: 4 Things We Learned About The Food Services Sector – From MOM’s Jobs Situation Report (17th Edition)

#1 Emotional Barriers

Jobseekers who were unemployed for a longer period of time were typically more susceptible to building emotional barriers that prevented them from accessing new jobs. Another prevalent theme was that such individuals were often hit by sudden job losses. 

Another aspect of a barrier jobseekers created for themselves was being too focused on returning to the previous role they were let go from.

Read Also: MOM Responsible Retrenchment – Guideline For Companies To Be Fair And Decent

Initiatives in place to help such individuals include:

  • Career Recharger: a workshop helping individuals understand and overcome their stressors with coping strategies and remaining motivated in their search
  • Career Coaching: career coaches supported and helped jobseekers to better manage their emotions. On average, such jobseekers required up to 15 hours of coaching
  • e2i Employability Camp: support for non-PMETs to adopt a growth mindset and resilience amid an increasingly volatile and uncertain world
  • e2i Career Coaching Executive Workshop (CREW): encouragement PMETs to gain confidence in their job search

#2 Job Skills Gaps

It was also stated that roles are becoming more specialised as industries undergo digital transformation. This makes bridging the skills gap even more important, as those who were let go were unlikely to have skills that were sufficient to meet expectations and demands of new roles.

Initiatives in place to help such individuals include:

Career Catalyst: 1-on-1 career coaching programme to help individuals identify skills gap and transferrable skills. It also helps jobseekers develop their own customised job search plan.

Read Also: Top 6 Transferrable Skills Employers Are Looking For, According To MOM

Career Conversion Programme (CCP): equip jobseekers and workers with new skills to move into new occupations or sectors with good prospects. 

Read Also: 5 Types Of Businesses In Singapore That Are Set To Grow In 2021 (And Beyond)

e2i Career Navigator: workshop that supports jobseekers to leverage personality assessment tools to interpret and integrate with their career goals.

e2i Employability Camp: help non-PMETs gain awareness of labour market information and hiring trends.

#3 Discomfort With New Working Conditions

The report also noted that there was a barrier to new working conditions. Jobseekers may turn down jobs because they were unfamiliar or lack confidence that they could successfully adapt to the role.

Initiatives in place to help such individuals include:

Career Activator: programme that offered jobseekers a sneak peek into their workplaces, and to conduct job interviews.

Career Trial: programme offering jobseekers short stints to increase employability and assess their fit with the job requirements and company culture, as well as gaining useful relevant work experience.

#4 Outdated Job Search Techniques

Those who have been working in the same job for a long time may be out of touch with the current job search process. Sending out large numbers of applications using a template resume no longer works well today as recruiters tap on HR technologies in the recruitment process.

Initiatives in place to help such individuals include:

Career Energiser: workshop series to help jobseekers upgrade their job search techniques, including personal branding, resume writing, and interview prep.

Career Workshops and Seminars: weekly public sessions conduction by professional trainers to help jobseekers build soft skills to conduct their job search. Jobseekers can also expand their professional networks by attending such events.

e2i’s Job Hunting Online: targeted at non-PMETs to equip them with the skills to apply for jobs online

e2i Win the Job Series: a series of three workshops (Win the Search, Win the Interview and Win the Salary Negotiation) to prepare jobseekers to land their next job.

Read Also: 10 Job And Internship Portals For Employers Hiring In Singapore

#5 Limited Networks

Having a wide network helps in landing jobs, recommendations and referrals also open doors for jobseekers. Those who have been in the same job or same sector for a long time may have limited networks, especially if they are looking to move into a new industry.

Initiatives in place to help such individuals include:

Career360: programme comprising hands-on workshops, industry-related talks and networking sessions with employers looking to hire.

e2i Network to Success: workshop for PMETs to pick up networking skills and to leverage on platforms to connect with potential employers. PMETs can boost their personal brand by positioning themselves right and building working relationships.

e2i Industry Dialogue Session: organised to bring in hiring employers to share insights on the changing industry landscape.

Read Also: 10 Ways COVID-19 Impacted Singapore Workers: MOM Labour Force In Singapore Advance Report 2020

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