Some 24,000 people have been placed under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills package as at end July, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed in the first of its series of weekly updates on Singapore’s job situation.

Upcoming updates will include opportunities for job seekers and key employment indicators such as cost-saving measures adopted by companies, to keep the public informed, MOM said on August 11.

The move follows preliminary estimates by MOM and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) indicating that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Singapore’s economy and labour market may have been more severe in 2Q2020 ended June, than in the first quarter ended March.

This is to account for the two month-long ‘circuit breaker’ measures between April 7 and June 1 which mandated the stoppage of non-essential services.

“With the external economic environment remaining weak and Covid-safe management measures moderating the pace of recovery in certain sectors, softness in the labour market is likely to persist with continued weakness in hiring and pressure on companies to retrench," MOM stresses.

The 24,000 placements are part of the 92,000 opportunities created by the National Jobs Council as at end July. These include roles under: the SGUnited Jobs and skills programmes, the public sector and the private sector that have been advertised on the government job portal.

Some seven in 10 or 70% of these opportunities are for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs). Over half of these are roles with the public sector or other opportunities such as traineeships and attachments offered by private sector firms that are significantly funded by the government.

Of these, a significant majority will be traineeships for recent and new graduates. 16,400 will be for PMETs while 1,100 will be for non-PMETs.

Additionally, there are 6,900 certified training places for PMETs and 2,500 for non-PMETs.

In terms of job opportunities, there are 7,900 long-term jobs for PMETs and 1,100 for non-PMETs.

As for short-term job opportunities – roles lasting up to 12 months – 8,300 are for non-PMETs while 4,400 are for PMETs.

To this end, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo asked individuals seeking employment to be open to opportunities they may not have considered previously.

She also called on firms to retain the Singaporean core by bringing more locals on board and considering employees holistically – “even if they are not too young” or may not be “the perfect fit”.

Her comments come as total employment in Singapore shrank to 121,800 in June – its highest on record.