The Singapore Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Job Vacancies report for 2017 reflects the continuing evolution of the nature of jobs driven by technology and industry transformation.
Higher value-added PMET (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians) jobs accounted for 48.5% of job vacancies in September 2017, increasing from 47.9% in 2016 and 39.2% in 2013.
The share of vacancies for IT-related jobs continued to grow, in areas such as software, web & multimedia developers (+140), systems analysts (+40) and computer technicians (+110). Software, web & multimedia development was the most in-demand PMET role, displacing teaching and training professionals, which moved to the second position among PMET jobs.
Engineering-related vacancies also moved up. For instance, the number of civil engineering vacancies increased by 150, while the vacancies for mechanical engineers went up by 80.
These vacancies were in PMET-dominated sectors such as public administration & education, financial services, professional services and information & communications.
While non-PMET positions remained harder to fill than PMET ones, 16% of PMET openings were unfilled for at least six months (49% of non-PMET vacancies were unfilled for at least six months).
According to the report, academic qualifications were not the main consideration for filling 42% of PMET vacancies. However, they usually required working experience.
Around 45.2% of PMET jobs were found to be hard to fill by locals, as compared to 41% during 2016. The reasons were skills shortages, along with job-specific conditions such as unattractive pay and unconducive working conditions offered by employers.
The MOM found that while employers faced less difficulty in filling common PMET vacancies, the situation was different for the well-paying software, web & multimedia developer jobs, where employers generally found the job applicants lacking in necessary work experience.
Skill development for students as well as mid-career individuals enabling them to take up the PMET jobs being created with technological transformation has been a core area of focus for the Singapore Government.
SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), under the Ministry of Education and Workforce Singapore (WSG), under the Ministry of Manpower, have introduced a wide range of programmes to help bridge the skills gap. These include initiatives to help individual jobseekers pick up the relevant skills, as well as to support employers in training and upskilling their employees.
Skills frameworks have been developed as part of the Government’s Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs), to support students and professionals in achieving better understanding of the range of career pathways, skills requirements and available training programmes, within the sector and sub-sectors. For instance, under the recently released Environmental Services ITM, the Skills Framework for Environmental Services was developed by SSG, WSG and National Environment Agency (NEA), employers, industry associations, unions, and education and training institutions, in support of the Jobs and Skills pillar in the ITM.