Jobs Situation Report (15th Edition)
6,700 Openings Available in Healthcare Sector. Holistic approach to help locals enter the healthcare sector and thrive in their careers.
- This week’s Jobs Situation Report highlights the openings available in the Healthcare sector. It outlines the holistic approach to help locals kickstart a career in Healthcare and ensure they stay relevant through training.
Overview of and the impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Sector
- Singapore’s healthcare sector is well-regarded internationally for its quality services, infrastructure and sound policies. Our healthcare system is supported by a workforce of more than 100,000 across both public and private sectors. About 70% of the workforce is made up of healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and allied health professionals, while the remaining 30% comprises support care, administrative and ancillary workers.
- The COVID-19 pandemic created temporary manpower needs for a variety of roles, such as swabbers and swab assistants to support increased testing operations. Care ambassadors were also needed to augment hospital nurses as they were redirected from their original duties to care for COVID-19 patients. In addition, healthcare professionals (e.g. nurses, doctors) and supporting staff (e.g. nursing support, phlebotomists) were mobilised to serve at dedicated COVID-19 facilities and medical posts. The pandemic also increased the use of telehealth and teleconsultation services, as well as safer and more convenient medication collection and delivery services.
- In the longer term, an ageing population and rising chronic disease incidence will drive demand for healthcare manpower. New healthcare facilities, such as integrated facilities, general hospitals, community hospitals and polyclinics, will progressively be developed. To build a future-ready workforce, the Healthcare sector has been committing resources to:
a) Strengthen the Singaporean core through expanding the pipeline of fresh graduates and mid-career individuals; and
b) Provide traineeship, attachment and skills training opportunities to equip Singaporeans with relevant skills for the Healthcare sector.
SGUnited Jobs and Skills Openings and Placements in Healthcare Sector
- We reported at the end of Aug that Healthcare was the second top sector offering SGUnited Jobs and Skills opportunities, just behind Infocomm and Communications Technology. As at end-Nov, there remains close to 6,700 available openings in Healthcare which are suitable for fresh graduates and mid-career jobseekers with both healthcare and non-healthcare backgrounds (refer to Chart 1).
- Among the close to 5,500 job openings:
- Majority (about 75%) are long-term roles, of which:
- Close to 30% are in healthcare professional and executive roles such as nurses, allied health professionals, and finance and human resources executives.
- The remaining 70% are in healthcare support and administrative support roles such as healthcare assistants, therapy assistants and patient service associates.
- More than 80% are offered by public healthcare clusters such as SingHealth, National University Health System and National Healthcare Group, as well as community care organisations such as Ren Ci Hospital, Vanguard Healthcare Pte Ltd and St Luke’s Eldercare Ltd.
- The rest are offered by private organisations such as Parkway Hospitals Singapore Pte Ltd, Healthway Medical Group Pte Ltd and Q & M Dental Centre Pte Ltd.
- Gross monthly salaries of those who newly joined the healthcare institutions in 2018, including experienced hires, are in Chart 2 below
- Between Apr to end-Nov, close to 8,340 jobseekers have been placed into jobs, company-hosted traineeships and attachments, as well as enrolled in training places (refer to Chart 3).
- The vast majority were placed into jobs, of which 71% were shorter-term in nature. They include swabbers and swab assistants to support COVID-19 related operations, as well as care ambassadors and patient concierge with public healthcare institutions and community care organisations.
- While some of these workers are still in their current roles, others have successfully transited into longer-term roles in the sector or other job opportunities that they have secured on their own.
- Current workers can also consider switching into professional roles (e.g. nursing, allied health) by tapping on Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs).
- While Healthcare offers a wide range of jobs, those entering regulated roles such as nurses and allied health professionals need to acquire relevant qualifications. Existing workers in the sector also have to stay up to date with the latest developments in healthcare practices, or seek further studies if they wish to specialise.
- The Government and industry have implemented a holistic three-pronged approach to support Singaporeans to enter the Healthcare sector and thrive in their careers:
A. Ensuring pre-employment readiness
- Ensuring pre-employment readiness: preparing young locals for a career in Healthcare
- Facilitating smooth entry into employment: supporting fresh graduates and mid-career jobseekers without Healthcare background to enter the sector
- Supporting lifelong learning: providing training and upgrading opportunities for existing Healthcare workers
- To meet increasing manpower demand, the Government works closely with Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) to build a steady pipeline of local healthcare professionals. Local nursing intake increased by about 50% from 1,500 in 2014 to 2,200 to 2019. We have also introduced new undergraduate allied health programmes such as Dietetics and Nutrition in 2019, and Speech and Language Therapy in 2020. Singaporeans can also tap on various scholarships to pursue healthcare training at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
B. Facilitating smooth entry into employment
- There are several initiatives in place to encourage and support fresh graduates and mid-career individuals without healthcare background to enter the sector too. These include:
Career Conversion Programmes
- Career Conversion Programmes
- Redesigning Healthcare Jobs
- Traineeships, Attachments and Skills Training
- Mid-career locals can tap on WSG’s PCPs for Nurses and Allied Health Professionals to gain professional qualifications from IHLs to take on roles such as nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and diagnostic radiographers. Since 2003, about 1,900 individuals have entered the Healthcare sector through such career conversion programmes. One of them is former engineer Clement Ng, 63, who enrolled in the PCP for Registered Nurse (Diploma) in 2018 and joined St Luke’s Hospital as a Staff Nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic in June 2020. Inspired by the work in Healthcare, Clement pursued a second career in the sector as he wanted to do something different and meaningful. He first worked as a healthcare assistant and was inspired to take up the PCP after witnessing how the nurses improved their patients’ lives [More details in Annex B].
- Interest among mid-career switchers towards joining Healthcare also increased during COVID-19 after jobseekers became more aware of the available jobs in the sector as well as the important role played by healthcare workers during crises. The number of applications received for PCP-Registered Nurses (Diploma)’s Oct 2020 intake was about three times that of the April 2020 intake.
- To cater for mid-career switchers to enter into nursing and allied health roles, the Government plans to open up training capacity of 900 places over the next three years. We will adjust the training capacity depending on applicants’ interest and participation rate for the programmes.
- Those who are considering a career in dental assisting can also tap on WSG’s Place-and-Train Programme for Dental Surgery Assistants (DSAs) to acquire skills such as dental administration and communication, infection control and sterilisation and dental radiology. Offered by Q&M Dental Group under its training institute, the Programme will provide ample opportunities for DSAs to progress within the Q&M Dental Group, and good performing DSAs could be promoted to become Area Managers overseeing the operations of a cluster of clinics.
- Community care organisations can also tap on the Agency for Integrated Care’s Senior Management Associate Scheme to hire mid-career locals to take on leadership or managerial roles in areas such as financial management, accounting, human resources or digitalisation of business processes. For instance, Michelle Yeo, 54, tapped on the scheme to transition from the hospitality sector to the community care sector as she wanted to be able to play a direct role in improving the lives of our seniors. As the Assistant Director of Human Resource at AWWA Ltd, Michelle is grateful to be part of a dedicated team that helps our seniors age with grace and dignity, and finds fulfilment in seeing her clients interacting and enjoying themselves at AWWA’s centres.
Redesigning Healthcare Jobs
- To attract more locals to join the sector, employers have redesigned processes and introduced new roles that blend clinical support, administrative and operations responsibilities in the various healthcare settings. Training, on-boarding and orientation will be provided by employers, even for individuals without healthcare background. Siti Muhassanah Binte Ramlam, 20, is one of them. As a Resident Care Associate at Ren Ci Nursing Home, Siti’s role entails improving the elderly residents’ quality of life by providing companionship, listening to their concerns, and helping them regain their sense of functional status. To help her excel in her job, she was enrolled in a work study technical diploma course in rehabilitation care [More details in Annex C].
Traineeships, Attachments and Skills Training
- Through the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package, fresh graduates and mid-career individuals without prior experience in Healthcare can acquire relevant experience and work-ready skills needed through traineeships, attachments and skills training. Available roles include:
C. Supporting lifelong learning
- For traineeships and attachments: patient service associates, pharmacy assistants, medical technologists and HR executives.
- One of them is 28-year-old Gavin Gn, who joined Changi General Hospital’s Strategic Services Office on a traineeship as he wanted to pursue more meaningful career where he could marry his passion for communications and his desire to contribute more to society [More details in Annex B].
- For skills training: healthcare assistants, therapy assistants, pharmacy technicians, as well as health managers and administrators
- In the public healthcare and community care sectors, existing workers are also given opportunities for continuous training and development so that they can stay relevant and continue providing quality healthcare in a fast-changing landscape. These include training grants for healthcare professionals to take on skills attachment or formal postgraduate education opportunities, as well as the Community Care Training Grant and Community Care Manpower Development Award that community care providers can tap on to send their staff for training and upskilling.
- Table 1 highlights some of the transferrable skills that can help smoothen jobseekers’ transition into healthcare, as well as the skills that they can acquire to enhance their career prospects in the sector.
Supporting More Efficient and Effective Job Searches
- To help jobseekers better navigate and access the available openings, the Government continues to provide employment facilitation efforts. From Jan to Oct 2020, over 58,000 jobseekers received basic career advisory or job search assistance through WSG and NTUC-Employment and Employability Institute’s career matching services – 53% more than the same period in 2019 due to an expansion of touchpoints and increased demand from jobseekers making career transitions.
For More Information
- Among which, about 31,000 received targeted support through individualised career coaching – 19% more than the same period in 2019.
To find out more about:
- Immediate job opportunities in the Healthcare sector, please visit the dedicated healthcare Virtual Career Fair (VCF) on WSG’s MyCareersFuture portal at https://vcf.mycareersfuture.gov.sg/healthcare. The VCF provides articles, job listings and recruitment events to better inform jobseekers on the opportunities and insights on the Healthcare industry.
- Job opportunities in the community care sector: https://www.aic.sg/commcarejobs
- Healthcare Professional Conversion Programmes:
• PCP for Registered Nurses (Degree): https://www.go.gov.sg/pcp-rn-deg
• PCP for Registered Nurses (Diploma): https://www.go.gov.sg/pcp-rn-dip
• PCP for Enrolled Nurses: https://www.go.gov.sg/pcp-en
• PCP for Allied Health Professionals: https://www.go.gov.sg/pcp-ahp
- Senior Management Associate Scheme (SMAS): https://partners.aic.sg/manpower-development/smas
- WSG’s programmes and career advisory and matching services, please visit www.mycareersfuture.gov.sg/careercoaching (QR code below) or call WSG’s hotline at 6883 5885.
- SSG’s Skills and Training Advisory services, jobseekers can visit https://www.myskillsfuture.sg/content/portal/en/career-resources/career-resources/education-career-personal-development/skills-training-advice.html
- Upcoming engagement and outreach events organised by NTUC’s e2i and WSG, jobseekers can visit https://www.ssg-wsg.gov.sg/events.html or https://e2i.com.sg/events/.