Government fund to help Singapore’s PMETs change career gets S$14million boost
Author: PM editorial | Date: 22 June 2016
Professional conversion programmes will provide training and financial support for workers to move sector
A fund set up by Singapore’s government to help professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) start new careers has been given a S$14 million boost.
That means S$40 million managed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) is now available to fund course fees and salary support for PMETs who want to move to sectors such as retail, food services or events.
"A growing number of PMETs will find that their job experience and their job expertise in some cases may no longer be directly relevant to the job opportunities of the future,” said manpower minister Lim Swee Say at the Adapt and Grow Career Fair. He believes there is a “growing mismatch” between skills and demand: “More and more of them will have to learn new skills and start a new career in areas they may not be familiar with.”
The announcement of the extra funds comes shortly after statistics released by the ministry of manpower showed that older workers who are made redundant are finding it increasingly difficult to get a new job. Experts regard them as the group that is most at risk from Singapore’s current economic slowdown.
Training and financial support for those who need it will be provided by professional conversion programmes (PCPs), of which there are now 31 in 14 sectors. By 2018, the government aims to have PCPs in 20 sectors as part of its Adapt and Grow initiative.
The WDA is anticipating an increase in demand for this service and said in a statement that it had “intensified efforts in employment facilitation” and is “working closely with community partners and trade associations to increase the number of community job fairs, career preparatory workshops and industry-focused career fairs. On average, there will be at least one career event every day for Singaporeans to tap into to re-skill, switch careers or to take on new jobs.”
Their target is to help the career transition of another 3,000 PMETs by 2018 to add to the 7,000 they have already helped since the PCPs began in 2007.