The government previously announced that it would create traineeship positions for fresh graduates during this recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Such traineeships will now be expanded to cater also to mid-career job seekers, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced on Wednesday (July 29) during a visit to the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Centre at Kampong Chai Chee Community Club.
From Saturday, mid-career job seekers will be able to apply for more than 13,000 company attachments through the MyCareersFuture.sg portal. These will come from the pool of positions earlier approved for fresh and recent graduates.
Mr Heng said: “The Covid-19 global pandemic is having a very severe impact on the global economy as well as on the Singapore economy. And in particular, I am very concerned about the impact on the jobs of our people.”
He added: “I hope that mid-career participants can make full use of this (traineeship) scheme.”
The mid-career attachments can range from four to nine months and must start by March 31 next year. A job is not guaranteed after the attachment, but host organisations can consider hiring workers who perform well when business conditions improve.
Workers on the attachments will receive a monthly training allowance of between $1,400 and $3,000, of which 80 per cent will be funded by the Government, said Workforce Singapore (WSG) in a media release on Wednesday.
The attachments are part of the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme and include roles such as business development managers, software engineers, finance analysts and e-commerce associates.
A separate traineeship scheme for fresh graduates has attracted interest from more than 6,400 organisations offering more than 35,000 positions, which is far greater than the number of fresh and recent graduates who are likely to fill them, said WSG.
In light of this, WSG and the Singapore Business Federation – which is the programme manager for both schemes – will work with the organisations to open up 13,000 of these earlier-approved positions to mid-careerists.
“This will give host organisations the option to fill these positions with experienced mid-career individuals, who bring with them a wealth of work experience and skills,” said WSG.
Some firms already on board are GIC, United Overseas Bank and Watsons Singapore.
Mr Heng said: “One thing which is very clear from both the experiences of the career coaches and from my discussion with the job seekers is that we all need to change and adapt.
“On the (part) of job seekers, we need to change our mindsets about what are suitable jobs. I’ve heard of many successful cases where people in various jobs decide to try new things, decide to even take lower pay, because … (they) need to rebuild (their) careers. So I’m very glad that these changes are happening.”
He added that employers also have to adapt, picking staff who might not be the perfect fit, but are willing to learn.
“Employers must redesign jobs so that we can make the best use of the skills of our people, make full use of all the tools that we have put out under our industry transformation maps, to both upgrade the skills of our workers and upgrade our operations. And in fact, when the Covid-19 situation passes… they will be able to emerge stronger, they will be more competitive, more productive.”
WSG chief executive Tan Choon Shian said in the statement: “We empathise with the anxieties mid-career individuals face during this difficult time and have stepped up efforts to ensure quality attachments with clear development plans so that they can quickly and confidently embark on permanent jobs once the economy recovers.
“We hope that they will make full use of the attachments to embark on a new pathway that can help lead them to the next stage of their career.”
The attachments for mid-career workers and fresh graduates are part of the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package announced in the Fortitude Budget speech in May.
In total, some 100,000 jobs, traineeships and training places will be created to help job seekers over the next year.
This article was first published in The Straits Times.