Study shows Singaporeans want job security, government agrees

Public polls tell us that job security is at the top of a Singaporean worker’s priority. They also prefer to work in a company that is financially strong and more importantly, they want work-life balance. These wishes are fair and the government is doing the things that can provide Singaporeans with all these things, such as developing our skills and attracting the companies.

It all boils down to this – attracting profitable companies who can afford to pay more and has capacity to offer the lifestyle that Singaporeans want. These companies will chose to operate out of a country that provides them the best return on their dollar, access to markets, have a skilled workforce and most importantly, be in a country that is safe, stable and certain. 

The question is, are Singaporeans ready for these companies? For example, these big tech companies when they come, they’re quite likely looking for IT professionals such as programers, systems administrators, network engineers and project managers. Do we have the skills necessary to be hired by these companies? 

This is the reason why there is such as strong emphasis on skills – whatever the age, whatever the type of work you do. The SkillsFuture package of funds provide both financial help and resources to the individual to get himself equipped with the right and relevant skills.

Companies are also encouraged to get involved in the training of their workers.

The Labour Movement is doing this by deploying resources into setting up Company Training Committees with the unionised companies in their network. The purpose is to work together with these companies, help them put together training schedules and bring in expertise from educational institutes to design the training, as well as encourage companies to transform so that worker’s jobs improve. 

Together with NTUC, companies are working out profiles of their employees – and the skills gap and training required for their current workforce.

“Our intention is to help our workers visualise the potential of Industry 4.0 for their companies, and for… their careers,” said Ng Chee Meng, secretary-general of the NTUC in a report.

Job Security Council

A new feature being announced at the Budget debates, is the Job Security Council. This is a body of 4000 companies of various sizes to help place retrenched PMEs into new jobs fast. Job Security doesn’t jut mean staying in one job for the rest of your life, it means having the ability to quickly transit from one job to another when the need arises. 

The Job Security Council will gather information on job vacancies and using this data, match this with workers from “releasing” companies (companies that are ready to let go of workers).

This move is extremely important to workers in their 40s and 50s. This segment of workers are anxious about economic conditions and their relevancy in the job market. Traditionally, these workers take a long time to find another job and even then it may not pay well or does not use the skills they possess. 

Mature workers can share their experience and skills honed over many years.

Although these numbers are not large, for the individual worker or PME, who has mouths to feed and bills to pay, the situation can create a lot of fear and anxiety,” Mr Ng said during the debate on the Budget statement.

The reason why NTUC is able to pull together resources quickly and garner the support of such a wide spectrum of companies, is because they have a strong working relationship between the government, the labour movement and the business community. Ng Chee Meng is also a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office – this allows him the ability to communicate and co-ordinate with colleagues in government easily. 

All these companies stand to benefit from a lower-cost, ready-made recruitment tool through the Job Security Council, with the added bonus of training and skills upgrading for workers,” he added.

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