Singaporeans biggest concerns are jobs and the slowing economy

Author: PM editorial | Date: 23 Mar 2016

Results of government’s pre-budget survey show people want guidance on training and career transition

Singaporeans are most concerned about the slowing economy and its impact on the job market, according to a recent government survey.
Many respondents also said that training and improving their skills is important to keep them relevant in a changing economy.
Ahead of the annual budget, the Ministry of Finance collaborated with the government’s online portal REACH and received 3,600 responses to their Pre-Budget Feedback Exercise.
“Effective communication between citizens and policy makers is essential in building confidence in governance. We hear Singaporeans’ concerns about the slowing down of the economy, employability as well as the lack of job security,” said Sam Tan, minister of state.
Those who gave their feedback felt that the country’s economy is slowing and wanted to know what the government was doing to stabilise it. Job security for young and old alike was also a big issue, as was the ability to change careers into an unrelated sector, should it be necessary.
Respondents also asked for guidance on the types of training courses to take up to improve employability, and short-term financial assistance to help mid-career professionals switch industries.
Singapore’s annual budget, to be announced later this week, is widely expected to include a big investment in SkillsFuture, a big part of the country’s goal of lifelong learning.
A more flexible retirement age for Singaporeans who wish to continue working has also been the subject of pre-budget speculation and was a popular subject in the government’s survey.
Human resources experts Randstad have also released their Q1 2016 Workmonitor Report, which suggests millennials are lacking confidence in the job market. Just 66 per cent felt that they would be able to find a new job within six months, compared to 76 per cent in 2015. And the number who felt they were in danger of losing their job nearly doubled from seven per cent in 2015 to 13 per cent this year.
Uncertainty around the job market also contributed to a high number of Singaporeans who would be willing to move abroad to find the right job. Internationally, the average of people who would move overseas for work is 55 per cent but in Singapore it is 70 per cent.