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Employment support strengthened for PMETs

  • TODAY (31 May 2016): Holistic solution needed to problem of laid-off PMETs
  • TODAY (7 June 2016): Costs for treatment that helps injured workers return can be claimed

Employment support strengthened for PMETs
- TODAY, 7 June 2016

  1. We refer to the letter (“Holistic solution needed to problem of laid-off PMETs”, 31 May 2016).
  2. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) shares the concerns that Mr Koh has highlighted. The global economic outlook has weakened since the start of 2016 and Singapore is not immune to these external developments. Amid softer economic conditions and as the economy restructures, redundancies are expected in sectors affected by weak external demand. 
  3. To strengthen employment support for Singaporeans, MOM introduced the Adapt and Grow initiative in April 2016, which helps Singaporeans to adapt to changing job demands so as to be placed in a job as soon as possible. This includes enhancements to programmes such as the Career Support Programme (CSP) which will now provide wage support to employers who hire: (i) Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) made redundant who are unemployed for 6 months or more; or (ii) mature PMETs (aged 40 and above) who are made redundant, or who are unemployed for 6 months or more. 
  4. We are also helping Singaporeans who wish to enter a different industry or occupation to grow their careers. Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) help eligible PMETs to be placed with companies and undergo structured training to acquire skills needed for the new job they are placed in. Employers will receive salary support and training subsidies during the period of training. The scheme has benefitted over 7,000 PMETs thus far, and new programmes are being introduced in more than 20 sectors, including recently in the Wafer Fabrication industry and Infocomm Technology sector. More PMETs will also be matched with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through the P-Max scheme. 
  5. In addition, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) have also stepped up employment facilitation efforts by organising more job fairs, career preparatory workshops and running career centres which provide Singaporeans with assistance in their job search process. 
  6. Taken together, these initiatives provide opportunities for Singaporeans who may have been displaced to be equipped with the relevant skills and find employment. 
  7. We urge individuals who need assistance to approach WDA and e2i career centres or access WDA’s website ( and e2i’s website ( for assistance in their job search. 

Holistic solution needed to problem of laid-off PMETs 
- TODAY, 31 May 2016

  1. The world economic outlook remains bleak. Singapore has not been spared, with job losses rising as our major industries, including banking, oil and gas, offshore marine and property, continue to downsize and cope with the slump.
  2. Last year’s worker layoffs were at a six-year high and will get worse this year. Professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) accounted for 71 per cent of the numbers.
  3. However, what is disturbing is that younger well-educated Singaporeans, in their 30s and 40s, are losing their jobs and not getting a new one befitting their educational background and more than 10 to 15 years of work experience.
  4. This small but growing group has fallen through the cracks in our system (“PMET job losses a blow to S’pore’s small talent pool”; May 2).
  5. The resultant pattern seems the same: They send job applications, ask help from friends and social networks and, in desperation, turn to their Members of Parliament and even career coaches.
  6. But after months of trying, these degree holders from our local and accredited universities end up as telemarketers, commissioned sales agents, taxi drivers, et cetera, earning well below the salaries of fresh graduates.
  7. The loss of this local talent pool has serious consequences. Besides having their morale affected, many displaced PMETs have families and often ageing parents to support, along with other financial commitments.
  8. In a small country, a loss of one qualified local resource is one too many and unacceptable.
  9. Perhaps it is timely to look at this group of Singaporeans holistically and even set up a ministerial task force to assist such people who have genuine employment problems.
  10. As a last resort, government departments and government-related companies should also assist in giving priority to hiring these people if they can do the job.