"Singapore’s unemployment rate in the last quarter of 2008 rose to a seasonally adjusted 2.6 per cent, up from 2.2 per cent in the third quarter on rising retrenchments with slowing employment growth and a weaker economy.
According to official data from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) released Friday, about 73,100 Singapore residents were jobless in December, a steep 58 per cent jump year-on-year."
So what do we do now? Where can we go now?
And in the article, Acting Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong said:
"Some of them may have skills that have to be changed. Some of them may need to look for opportunities in other industries and some may need to go through conversion courses. Our tripartite partners are working with the various companies in the manufacturing sector to preempt retrenchments."
Skills that have to be changed? Look for opportunities in other industries? Go through conversion courses?
Let's take a look at the range of jobs found in some of the popular job recruitment sites:
- Full Time Sales Co-ordinators. Must have a hunger for good sales result and be able to work retail hours including weekends.
- Sales Executive. To establish new clientele, project manage account & meet sales target. Self-motivated, aggressive & possesses initiative. Must possess class 3 driving license. 5-day week.
- HR/Admin Assistant.Proficient in Microsoft Office, 1-2 yrs relevant working experience. Mature & independent Willingness to learn & work with challenging timelines. Able to communicate with Chinese speaking staff.
- Telemarketer. Part time / freelance telemarketer position. Cold calling in the evenings and weekends. Ideal for working personnel wanting to supplement their regular income. No product selling or appointment fixing. Calling to survey and gather data.
- Accounts / Admin Assistant. Able to read Chinese & English Documents. 'O' Levels. Min 1 Year Experience. Good w Computers. Team Player. Good Attitude. Good Communication Skills. 5.5 Days.
- Spa Therapists. Full Time Nail Station Manager required. Duties include training of new staff, stock taking, planning of staff schedule and normal work routines like manicure & pedicure. No requirements required, training will be provided.
Imagine you have a degree, and were working as a manager drawing a monthly pay up to $4,000. Which one of the jobs above will you apply for? Admin assistant? Sales executive? Or telemarketer?
If you were a System Application Manager from Sony, are you ready to exchange your IT skill with Sales skill so that you could be a Sales Executive?
If you were a Production Engineer from Chartered Semiconductors, are you ready to attend a training course to become a Nail Station Manager?
If you were a Financial Manager from Citibank, are you ready to work as an Accounts Assistant in the Shipping industry?
So what should these degree holders who used to be from middle management do now?
"There are bound to be other jobs for professionals, senior executives and managers!" you may say...
- Jobs in MNC? Caterpillar to slash 20,000 jobs. Electronics giant Philips and banking group ING said they were slashing 13,000 jobs worldwide. So which MNC shall we look at now?
- Jobs in large local corporates? Remember how they were previously encouraged to contract out their IT/Finance to India/China to save cost? So you think at difficult times like this, they have turned patriotic and decided to employ Singaporeans who will cost them more?
- Jobs in SMEs? If they are paying you peanuts during the good times, what are you expecting from them during the bad times?
- Jobs in Statutory boards or GLCs? With their known preference for local degrees over degrees from reputable worldwide universities, even the best in UK, what are your chances in getting the job? With their known preference for scholars to lead the companies, how far can you go in the company if you are not one?
- Whatever jobs that are left?On top of competing with the other Singaporeans, you have to fight with the foreign talents that our country has opened the big wide door to. So you think you can work longer hours than them and receive lower pay than them?
Alas, friends, Singaporeans, countrymen! If you are holding a degree and working as a professional/senior executive/manager, pray hard that your job is here to stay!
Singapore unemployment rate,retrenchments,Singaporeans jobless rate,Singapore employment growth