Nearly half of all vacancies as at 30 September 2016 were for Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs). The job openings were mainly education, healthcare, infocomm and service-related occupations.
These are the key findings from the ‘Job Vacancies 2016’ report released on 7 February 2017 by the Manpower Research and Statistics Department (MRSD), Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
The steady increase in PMET share of job openings from 39 percent (or 24,300) in 2013 to 48 percent (or 25,800) in 2016 reflects restructuring of the economy and workforce, MOM said.
The increase in PMET vacancies was mainly from financial & insurance services, professional services and information & communications. At the same time, there was a decline in the non-PMET vacancies, mainly in accommodation & food services, construction, wholesale & retail trade and manufacturing.
Majority of the PMET vacancies continued to come from the PMET-dominated sectors such as community, social & personal services, financial & insurance services, professional services and information & communications.
The top PMET job openings in 2016 include:

  • Teaching & training professionals;
  • Management executives;
  • Software, web & multimedia developers;
  • Registered nurses and enrolled/assistant nurses.

The MRSD found, among the non-PMET occupations, the highest vacancies were for:

  • Service & sales workers (11,840),
  • Cleaners, labourers & related workers (6,540),
  • Clerical support workers (3,160),
  • Plant & machine operators & assemblers (2,970), and
  • Craftsmen & related trade workers (1,910).

Across sectors, the non-PMET vacancies were mainly in:

  • Accommodation & food services,
  • Administrative & support services and
  • Wholesale & retail trade, which typically had lower staff retention. According to the third quarter 2016 Labour Market Report, these industries had recruitment and resignation rates which were higher than overall average.
Source: Ministry of Manpower
Source: Ministry of Manpower
Vacancies unfilled for extended periods
MOM said, the proportion of vacancies unfilled for at least six months in 2016 was 36 percent, declined from 2015 (39 percent) and 2014 (41 percent).
One in two non-PMET vacancies such as service & sales workers, and craftsmen & related trade workers, remained hard to fill. In comparison, only about two in every ten PMET openings were unfilled for at least six months.
Common PMET occupations which were harder to fill include:

  • Software,
  • Web & multimedia developers,
  • Registered nurses, and
  • Enrolled/assistant nurses.

MOM said the share of PMET vacancies is expected to continue to rise as the economy restructures in tandem with the improving skills and education profile of the workforce. One key priority is to maximise matching between jobseekers and job vacancies.
Employers indicated the lack of necessary work experience was the top reason for PMET openings that were hard to fill. Vacancies were available to jobseekers of all educational levels.
About one in four of the vacancies required university degree qualifications (13,090). This was followed closely by openings which required no or some formal education i.e. primary and below (12,880). There were also openings for secondary (8,320) and diploma & professional qualifications (9,090).
The Government has ramped up SkillsFuture and Adapt and Grow initiatives, Singaporeans are strongly encouraged to tap on these programs to seize new job opportunities and advance in their careers, MOM urged. Among the newly-formed key priorities this year, SkillsFuture wants to reach those who have been unemployed.
MOM also urges employers to review their requirements for work experience so as to widen their pool of prospective candidates. “This will provide more opportunities for young job entrants and mid-career PMETs to build up their domain knowledge and experience on the job,” it said.

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