TL;DR – There are 2 job openings for every unemployed person in Singapore, but you need to be skilled for those jobs.
If you do a quick search on Google, you will find that so many job vacancies are being advertised. But have you ever wondered, if there are indeed so many job vacancies out there, then where are all these jobs? Why does it seem that Singaporeans are not getting these jobs?
In the most recent Labour Market 2021 report, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said that there were 117,100 vacancies available last December. This translates to about 2.11 job openings for every unemployed person in Singapore, an increase from September 2021.
The report noted that job openings are found mainly in growth sectors of Information & Communications, Financial Services, and Professional Services. These sectors, which made up 18% of total employment, accounted for 28% of total vacancies, and almost all were professional, managerial, executive and technical (PMET) positions.
Now, based on the recent labour market report, we know that there are job vacancies and where these vacancies are exactly. So why aren’t Singaporeans getting these jobs?
A mismatch between the job seekers and the job openings available
One reason which the report cited, among other things, was structural unemployment.
In layman’s terms, it simply means that the worker does not have the correct skill to perform the available work.
Structural challenges and mismatch will continue to pervade through sectors
Following the release of the Labour Market Report, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Assistant Secretary-General Patrick Tay said in a Facebook post that we need to continue to brace ourselves for challenges ahead.
Employers will need to brace for a tight labour market and look at ways to redesign and reinvent workers’ work and workplaces. At the same time, employers will also need to embrace digital transformation to keep pace with the developments, while preparing their workforce for these changes.
“Workers will need to continue to embrace CET and Lifelong Learning to stay ready with new skills, relevant for new/transformed jobs, and resilient to new changes as we pivot and transform to the next normal of work.”
Companies are hiring, but you need to be skilled for those jobs
A survey conducted by recruiter ManpowerGroup Singapore corroborates with the Labour Market Report’s findings. According to the survey, Singapore’s hiring outlook for the second quarter of this year is dubbed as the strongest since 2011.
This means that companies have expressed their desire to take on new staff.
Companies in the IT, technology, telecommunications, communications, and media sector, in particular, reported the strongest employment outlook, followed by companies in the manufacturing, and the banking, finance, insurance, and real estate sectors, as well as in the construction industry.
Nevertheless, a lack of skilled, qualified workers has impeded the hiring process and hence resulted in job vacancies being left unfilled.
You see, it’s just like our mobile devices which require regular software updates for our apps to work, we need to update our skillsets to stay relevant in the workforce too.
Before you kick yourself for studying the wrong degree, or feel like you are God’s least favourite child, the good news is that all hope is not lost.
Because this is where the Company Training Committees (CTCs) come in handy for both companies and workers. Essentially, what CTC does is to close up the “skills mismatch” gap so that companies and workers can be future-ready
Launched in 2019 by the NTUC, the CTC sets out to help workers reskill and upskill in parallel with their companies’ transformations so that they can transform and thrive in the dynamic industry landscape.
So here’s a reminder to all of us: we can all take charge of future-proofing our careers by proactively upskilling ourselves to keep up with the demands of an evolving job market.