A 43-year-old unemployed Singaporean PMET wrote to transitioning.org recently, lamenting about initiatives from Workforce Singapore (WSG) and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) did not help him to secure job. His letter was posted on transitioning.org on Sat (6 Oct).

Transitioning.org is a non-profit society set up by social activist Gilbert Goh in 2009 to cater to the emotional needs of the unemployed Singaporeans. It is a place where unemployed Singaporeans can find support and solace while they continue to search for jobs.

The writer, Mr Sim, told Transitioning.org that he felt sad to read the many challenges the job seekers in Singapore have to face.

“I can relate to that as I have been job searching for close to 1 year, Mr Sim said. “I am 43 this year. I left my previous organisation to address a medical matter of an immediate family member which has now been fully resolved.”

Upon returning to the job market, he could see that applying for jobs is much easier now. “Just a click of the Send button and your profile/resume would be out there to the virtual world,” he said.

However, Mr Sim, like many others were let down by the responses they got. He lamented, “But like what is happening to many of the comments I read on your site, it’s the response back from recruiters/companies (or lack of) that are the truly demoralizing part of the search.”

“Even with customized CVs, targeted companies, connecting with companies/managers on LinkedIn, these requests mostly gets ignored,” he added. “I have even dropped my expected salary and applied for lower level roles hoping to at least secure an interview, but to no avail.”

Useless WSG and e2i

Mr Sim said he has also enrolled in the many classes and visited the many job fairs organised by Workforce Singapore (WSG) “with no success till date”. He added, “Even fellow participants have commented if the companies are really interested in hiring SG workers.”

“Even the career counseling I had with e2i did not produce any networking opportunities, just alerts to job fairs not within my relevant experience,” he said. “Feeling increasingly aimless and helpless on how should I proceed.”

According to information on its website, WSG is a statutory board under the purview of Ministry of Manpower.

“It will oversee the transformation of the local workforce and industry to meet ongoing economic challenges,” WSG’s website said. “WSG will promote the development, competitiveness, inclusiveness, and employability of all levels of the workforce. This will ensure that all sectors of the economy are supported by a strong, inclusive Singaporean core.”

It said that its key focus is to “help workers meet their career aspirations” and “secure quality jobs”.

e2i, on the other hand, is an initiative of NTUC to “support nation-wide manpower and skills upgrading initiatives”.

“e2i is the empowering network for individuals and companies seeking skills and solutions for growth. Since 2008, e2i has assisted more than 600,000 individuals through our career guidance, professional development, and job matching services. With an extensive network of partners, e2i offers hiring, training and productivity solutions to businesses,” its website said.

But strangely, in the case of Mr Sim, e2i’s “extensive network of partners” did not produce any networking opportunities for him. It only produces “irrelevant” alerts to job fairs not within his field of expertise.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung and MAS MD Menon continue to advocate bringing in more foreign talents into Singapore.

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