On March 19 (Tuesday), the Manpower Ministry (MOM) released its annual survey which revealed that there are more jobs up for grabs in 2018 due to good economic growth in the first half of the year.
It also said that employers are looking more than academic qualifications in order to have a bigger scale of candidates with the relevant skills or working experience. The survey, which included both private and public sector agencies, found 63,300 job vacancies as of September 2018, an increase from 53,100 from a year earlier.
Four out of the 10 vacancies were for new position created as a result of business formation and expansion, the report noted. These jobs were mostly from community, social and personal services like education and healthcare, as well as manufacturing such as electronics, transport equipment and information and communications.
Besides that, more of the available jobs were for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), and their percentage increased to 53 per cent in 2018, compared to 49 per cent in 2017 and 48 per cent in 2016. As for clerical, sales and service jobs, the number dropped to 23 per cent, while vacancies for cleaners, labourers and production and transport operators remained at 24 per cent.
The 2018 survey also found that the portion of PMET vacancies in which academic qualifications was not a main consideration for hiring rose to 52 per cent last year from 42 per cent in 2017, which was the first year the ministry tracked this metric.
However, for jobs like software, web and multimedia developers, system analysts and commercial and marketing sales executives, companies are still looking for relevant skills and work experience.
As more companies integrate technology into their work processes, infocomms and technology workers are still being in demand among roles for PMETs, but teaching and training profession still tops the list of recruits in demand, followed by software, web and multimedia developers as well as system analysts.
The ministry also said that for non-PMET roles, cleaners, shop sales assistants and security guards were the top three jobs in demands last year. However, the number for these vacancies has declined, especially for shop sales assistant, whose share of total job openings nearly halved over the last five years.
The MOM also revealed that non-PMET jobs remained harder to be taken by locals than PMET openings, with common issues being like unattractive pay, physically demanding work, as well as having to work shifts or on weekends and public holidays.
After this report was published in an article by the Straits Times (ST), netizens rubbished the results of the report and wrote their opinions in ST’s Facebook page. They said that this news is untrue and many of them are still unemployed, despite having the qualifications. Some even questioned why the report is not clearly stating which group the available jobs are for – Singaporeans or foreigners.
Some are saying that many of the job vacancies go to foreign PMETs and not local Singaporeans. One user named Pasakorn Sanrattana said that a lot of Singaporeans have opted to do menial jobs because they’re “underemployed and unemployed”.