SINGAPORE — The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) on Tuesday (27 October) announced the formation of a taskforce to boost the employability of professionals, managers and executives (PMEs).
The creation of the taskforce comes amid a rise in the number of PMETs – especially those in their 40s to 60s – who have been adversely affected by the economic slump amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Ministry of Manpower’s Labour Market Report, PMETs made up half of local retrenchment figures in the second quarter and saw a slower rate of re-entry into employment after retrenchment in the same period.
The taskforce will focus on reducing the risk of retrenchment among PMEs, encouraging employers to retain their staff and build capabilities, and enhancing the employability of PMEs through skills upgrading.
Over the next six months, the taskforce will engage with PMEs and employers through polls, focus group discussions and events.
Among its tasks, it will gather feedback from employers on potential skill gaps in the workforce, work with government agencies to review policies impacting PMEs, and conduct research to gain insights on employment trends.
Following the engagements, the taskforce will provide recommendations on government policies, best human resource practices and PME training by May Day 2021.
The taskforce's creations and functions were announced by NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng during his speech at the Labour Research Conference 2020.
NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Patrick Tay said, “Against this backdrop (of the pandemic and recession), we need to ensure our PMEs are adequately protected, have access to good jobs and are equipped with relevant skills, so they can thrive in this new normal. Together with SNEF, the PME taskforce will look at how PMEs’ needs can be addressed, both in the immediate and long-term.”
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