Attention, jobseekers! NTUC has launched 2 brand-new Telegram channels for job alerts

By April 11, 2020Current

TL;DR – NTUC wants to be your friend at the workplace.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the nation again yesterday evening (Friday).

Before I touch on that, I’d like to remind all of his media interview on 27 March. It’s only about two weeks ago, but it feels like a lifetime.

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in late 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. As the world sees more and more cases and over time, we learn more and more about the virus. And it’s only to be expected that governments of the world will change their stance, shift their position and update their approach as new information comes in.

Back to the 27 March media interview, PM Lee had raised the following points:

  1. We are in a very grave situation.
  2. Health-wise, COVID-19 is a global pandemic.
  3. Economy-wise, the impact is huge on economies all over the world and on Singapore.
  4. In terms of social cohesion, we need people to have confidence in the country, in the Government and ourselves.
  5. We are in a very grave situation.
  6. We could be looking at many many months, or even more than one or two years to tide through.
  7. PM Lee asked for everyone’s cooperation to slow the spread of the virus – safe distancing, personal hygiene, cooperation when we are contact tracing and discipline when people come back, stay home notification, stay home.
  8. We are in a very grave situation.
  9. The Government is doing all they can to stabilise the economy, to preserve jobs, to help companies stay in business, so that they can survive this and be able to come back to life when the opportunities come.
  10. The Resilience Budget comes with a very drastic wage support scheme – help for the self-employed, the gig economy, help for the companies, help for the households.
  11. It’s about saving jobs, supporting Singaporeans and protecting our livelihoods.
  12. We are in a very grave situation.
  13. There will be uncertainty, there will be pain, there will be job losses, there will be more cases of the COVID-19 and as time passes, there will be people who will succumb to the disease. We have to expect that.
  14. It is critical that we go into this eyes open, strong leadership, good government, united and determined to see this through.
  15. We are in a very grave situation.

PM Lee on doing all they can to stabilise economy, preserve jobs, help companies stay in business

He’d said repeatedly that we are in a very grave situation.

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I do not understand at all why up till now, with more cases and deaths, there are some Singaporeans who still have not gotten the memo. Despite us starting our circuit breaker month from 7 April (Tuesday), we’re still reading reports and hearing accounts of people not staying home. It’s extremely disappointing and frustrating as these people are risking their community, the country, with more infection. If we’re not able to curb the number of new cases, especially the local ones, significantly through these circuit breaker measures, then all the inconvenience and the pain would have been for naught. And yes, the Solidarity Budget with its $5b of measures to help us tide over this April month would not have been worth it.

So what did PM Lee say tonight?

He talked about the situation with the foreign worker clusters and what the government is doing to contain the spread in the dorms, and protect the health and welfare of the foreign workers. He also gave commitment to do our utmost to take care of them.

He also touched on the local cases that do not involve the foreign workers, and reminded us that this is precisely why we needed the circuit breaker.

“We need everyone to take it very seriously — stay home and stop socialising with others. If we do not observe this strictly, all our inconvenience, pain and sacrifice will all be in vain.”

He also made a special appeal to older Singaporeans to stay at home, for their own safety.

“The next few weeks will be tough. We have to get through them before the sun will shine over us again. Till that day comes, please stay home.”


Some Singaporeans have taken to social media to slam the authorities for not taking more drastic actions earlier, and for not taking actions earlier.

But you know what they say, hindsight is always 20/20. And like most experts are saying, the reality is “right now, we know a lot more about the disease compared to back in March”. Back then, just a few weeks ago, we did not know that asymptomatic spread was possible. But now we do.

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“We now know that asymptomatic spread is entirely possible – it does happen and could be the main driver of transmission for Covid-19.”

This piece of information changes everything. Since we now know that people who are infected might not showing symptoms, this means heightened risk as the infected people might be going around interacting with people and spreading the virus.

This is why Singapore introduced the circuit breaker and also started to tell people to mask up. This is mainly to prevent the asymptomatic people from spreading the virus.

The circuit breaker month could be the straw that broke the camel’s back for some businesses. They were already suffering from very low business volume since February and especially March, and to have their operations halted for the period 7 April to 4 May could prove to be too much for them. Hopefully the measures from the Solidarity Budget can help them hold on to the business, and hold on to the workers.

But as things are right now, many people are badly affected. Some people have lost their jobs and some people have been asked to go on Unpaid Leave with the option of taking up temporary assignments in the meantime. And many freelancers and self-employed people have also been hit badly.

Now if you’re unemployed, there is help.

From both the government and also NTUC if you’re a union member.

Best welfare for workers is a job!

For workers, the best welfare is actually a job and not temporary relief. While short-term cash and assistance can help Singaporeans tide over the immediate challenging period, they cannot help everyone in the long term. Best is for everyone to be able to hold a job or do something that generates regular income.

But how does one find a job during a time like this? Are there actually businesses that are hiring? Yes, actually. For instance, the bio-chemical and medical sectors are still hiring, partly due to the demands brought about COVID-19. The healthcare sector is always short of manpower. And oh, there are plenty of vacancies too in the logistics field.

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SGUnited Jobs Portal (by Government)

Announced during the delivery of the supplementary budget, Resilience Budget, DPM Heng Swee Keat had spoken about SGUnited Jobs which will list 10,000 jobs for jobseekers over the next one year.

The SGUnited Jobs Portal was launched on 27 March, and and the first wave of jobs focus on short-term temporary jobs that are immediately available. Please check out SGUnited Jobs Portal.

Separately, for those of you looking for longer-term roles can check out jobs advertised on

Jobs alert channels on Telegram (by NTUC)

Now, NTUC has also started two jobs alert channels on Telegram on 8 April (Wed), and both channels cover temporary, contract and also permanent positions. One channel is for PMET jobs, and the other channel for non-PMET jobs.

These job alerts are under NTUC’s Job Security Council (JSC) which was first introduced by the labour movement’s Secretary-General, Ng Chee Meng, in his Budget 2020 Debate speech in February.

“NTUC will be piloting the NTUC Job Security Council (JSC) to improve the matching of workers and professionals, managers and executives (PMEs), before they are retrenched or displaced, into jobs to minimise the duration of unemployment. JSC, operationalised by NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), will help place these workers into new jobs ahead of displacement; and if there are any skill gaps between the existing and new job, JSC will work with training partners to provide them with the relevant training.”

Telegram channel: Job Security Council – Jobs Alert (PMETs)

Telegram channel: Job Security Council – Jobs Alert (nonPMETs)


Minister Ng has said that NTUC wants to be Singaporean workers’ friend in need at the workplace, so these look like it’s off to a good start to help our workers during this difficult period.


(Featured image via FB)

NTUC lends a helping hand to taxi and private-hire drivers amid COVID-19 woes



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Qiqi Wong

Author Qiqi Wong

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