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Jobs Situation Report 17th Edition (22 Jan)

Around 14,000 companies benefitted from the Jobs Growth Incentive. Over 50,000 local workers hired in September 2020.

  1. Based on MTI’s forecast, Singapore’s economy is expected to grow by 4.0 to 6.0 per cent in 2021, rebounding from the lowered base in 2020. However, like many other major economies, we are unlikely to return to pre-COVID levels this year.  Recovery in the year ahead will also depend on the global situation and whether we can continue to keep the domestic COVID-19 situation under control. These uncertainties will have a direct impact on the labour market.
  2. Against this backdrop, the Government set aside $1 billion for the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) scheme to encourage firms to bring forward their hiring plans and accelerate the hiring of Singaporeans. For employers that hire mature jobseekers aged 40 and above from September 2020 to February 2021, the Government will support 50% of their salaries, up to the first $5,000, for 12 months. This is double the wage support for younger new local hires.
  3. In this 17th edition of the Ministry of Manpower’s Jobs Situation Report and the first of 2021, we are providing a preliminary update on the take-up of the JGI and take a closer look at one of the top-hiring sectors, Food Services.
  4. Preliminary estimates of the JGI take-up are encouraging. In September, the first month of the scheme’s implementation, around 14,000 companies were eligible. Collectively, they hired over 50,000 local jobseekers.
    1. About 50% were aged 40 and over.
    2. Top hiring sectors include Food Services (7,700 local hires), Wholesale Trade (4,600), Professional Services (4,000), Construction (3,300), and Education (3,000).
    3. The JGI computation process is still ongoing, and we will provide a fuller update in subsequent Jobs Situation Reports.

    Chart 1 - JGI-supported new hires in September 2020

    Job Opportunities in the Food Services Sector
  5. Hiring activities in the Food Services sector continued to pick up speed. As of end Dec 2020, there were more than 9,200 job openings in the Food Services sector posted on the MyCareersFuture portal, of which 37% are for PMETs. These include roles such as Food and Beverages Services Managers and Sales, Marketing and Business Development Managers. Roles for non-PMETs include cooks, waiters, bartenders and baristas. Salary ranges for major roles in Food Services found on MyCareersFuture are as follows in Chart 2.

    Chart 2 - Salary ranges for major job roles in food services
  6. Non-PMET food services roles have low barriers of entry and companies are able to provide flexible working hours. The sector is opened to hiring workers of different profiles, including older workers, students looking for part-time jobs and even caregivers who are looking for flexible work arrangements.

    Transforming operations and workforce to attract and retain locals
  7. While some food services companies were focussed on backfilling vacancies after the Circuit Breaker, others took the opportunity to digitalise, innovate and diversify into new revenue streams and business models. Companies that accelerated their transformation efforts and enhanced job quality have seen an improvement in talent attraction and retention.
  8. One example is homegrown food services provider Select Group:
    1. The company has been a consistently strong supporter of manpower-lean initiatives. They also believe in complementing these initiatives with employee development. In 2020, they tapped on the Job Redesign Reskilling Programme to prepare their workers for the post COVID economy.
      1. Automation of tasks such as order-taking and payment processing helped to raise productivity. This paved the way for job redesign and enhanced the job scopes.
      2. Through the programme, Select Group was able to equip close to 120 employees with new skills that allow them to better adopt and embrace digitalisation at the workplace.
      3. For example, outlet managers trained in data analytics can now draw insightsfrom the digital systems to launch proactive marketing activities andimprove customers’ satisfaction.
      4. 24-year-old Nurfarahin Syazwani Binte Mahmud is one of the 120 workers who have benefitted from the reskilling programme.
        • To improve productivity and efficiency, Select Group deployed digital solutions for order taking and payment process at its Texas Chicken outlets.
        • The company tapped on the programme to train its staff, including Nurfarahin, with skills such as data analytics to interpret data from the new system in order to improve customer’s satisfaction.
        • Nurfarahin now feels more confident in handling the digital platforms.
  9. To further adapt to the COVID-19’s impact on the Food Services sector, the company also implemented new digital technologies, tapped on online platforms such as food delivery apps and online food ordering and delivery systems.
    1. Expanded their digital marketing arm.
    2. Existing employees also took on new or expanded roles to support the new operations.
  10. To support companies’ business transformation efforts as well as the reskilling of workers, the government has rolled out a suite of initiatives. These include:
    1. Various initiatives under the SMEs Go Digital Programme to help SMEs adopt digital technologies. For example, food services firms can get a bonus payout of up to $10,000 under the Digital Resilience Bonus.
    2. WSG’s Job Redesign Reskilling Programme for the Food Services Industry where existing workers are being, trained and redeployed into new or higher-value roles.
      1. As of December 2020, more than 1,100 workers from 33 companies have undergone or are undergoing reskilling.
    3. A new Job Redesign Reskilling Programme for Food Services Assistants that will be launched in Q1 2021, to redesign jobs of non-PMET workers into enhanced job roles such as service ambassadors and kitchen technicians to support firms’ accelerated efforts in digitalisation and automation. 400 workers are expected to benefit.
  11. Jobseekers who are interested in moving into the Food Services sector can tap on various initiatives including:
    1. Career conversion Programmes such as Professional Conversion Programme for Food Services Executives in roles such as Assistant Outlet Managers, Management Trainees and Quality Managers.
    2. Company-hosted traineeships and attachments in roles such as Marketing and Communications Trainee, Business Development Trainee.
    3. Training courses under the SGUnited Skills programme.
    4. More information on these programmes are available in the sixth edition of the JSR (

    For more Information
  12. To find out more about:
    1. Immediate opportunities in the Food Services Sector, visit or attend an upcoming Virtual Career Fair on Opportunities from Farm to Plate ( which will run from 25 Jan to 8 Feb.
    2. WSG’s programmes and career advisory and matching services, please visit (QR code below) or call WSG’s hotline at 6883 5885.
    3. SSG’s SGUnited Skills programmes, jobseekers can visit
    4. SSG’s Skills and Training Advisory services, jobseekers can visit
    5. Upcoming engagement and outreach events organised by NTUC’s e2i and WSG, jobseekers can visit or