What to do when you lose your job in your 40s and beyond

Unemployment in Singapore affects mature workers aged 40 and above

If you think it is hard to get a job in your 20s to 40s. It is even harder to get one in your 40s.

As Singapore’s economic climate remains gloomy, mature workers are reported to be increasingly vulnerable. Statistics from the Ministry of Manpower’s Labour Market Report showed that redundancies in the first quarter of 2016 climbed to 4,710, as compared to the same period last year at 3,500.

65% of these layoffs affected mature workers aged 40 and above.

Mature workers don’t have it easy. Although many are well qualified and rich in experience, they also suffer the Phd holder’s problem – being priced out of a market. Employers see that they’re expensive and many would rather hire a cheaper and younger school leaver or a mid-careerist.

NTUC PME Center, which helps to provide career assistance to PMETs reveal that 77% of their cases came from mature PMEs. They reveal that as compared to their younger peers, mature workers tend to experience more difficulties in returning to the workforce and through the process, many become disillusioned and discouraged.

To combat the problem, NTUC collaborated with GioCareers, a local social enterprise to start a “Career Activation Programe”, a community based peer-to-peer support programme targeted at helping mature and unemployed PMEs.

Today, NTUC reports that the services provided by this collaboration would expand. A group of Career Activists (who are mature workers themselves) will be trained to provide support for discouraged PMEs. These activists will be assessed, trained and certified by NTUC LearningHub and GioCareers.

Patrick Tay of the NTUC described the volunteers as people who had similarly experienced difficulties in their life journeys, and can better empathise, share and understand the needs and concerns of fellow mature PMEs.”

patrick tay
NTUC PME Centre helps to provide career assistance to PMETs

If you’re needing help right, go to the NTUC PME center. The Career Activation Programe will help you by providing assistance while you are in between jobs as well as assist you post-placement. Some of the things you will experience include:

  • Meet up with Career Activist
  • Meet up with fellow PMEs
  • Partake in a Career-Life Planning and Management workshop
  • Document constructive steps to attain career goals
  • Post-placement follow-up



Image Credits: Re-employment Singapore.

About the author

Tay Leong Tan

Tay Leong Tan is a collective of 3 writers. Tay, Leong and Tan. (Who were you expecting?!) We are enthusiastic about labour issues, economics and current affairs in particular.

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