Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said on Monday (22 July) that there are about 60,000 job vacancies available in the market, and nearly half of them are catered for PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians).

Although she agrees that a large number of industries are affected by the current economic slowdown, but job seekers can still grab good quality jobs in sectors like air transport.

“If you look at our economy today, even though there are some sectors with weaknesses, the overall vacancies rate is quite healthy,” noted the Minister.

She added, “Quite a lot of these jobs are good quality jobs. How to equip our people to capture those job opportunities – that must be our focus”.

Mrs Teo revealed this while speaking at the Sats Inflight Catering Centre 2, where a new plan was announced to help reskill white-collar air transport workers affected by business transformation, in order for them to secure other jobs within the industry.

Admitting that industries like manufacturing and trade-related sectors are not doing well, Mrs Teo stressed that help will be given in these cases.

“We must take these developments seriously and monitor them. There will be some sectors…where there’s some weakening and we will try and see how best to support the companies in these sectors,” she explained.

As such, the Minister highlighted that Singapore will continue to look at growing a diversified economy by supporting companies in different sectors and push firms to deliver what they’re supposed to do.

“You no longer just pick and choose and say that we only want to grow certain sectors; you actually want a more diversified landscape,” the Minister said.

She went on and added: “It’s very much up to the company, and very much up to the industry, to take advantage of the support that is available to help them ride the next wave.”

Upon reading this news, netizens voiced their opinion and said that the availability of 60,000 job vacancies is a lie.

Penning their comments on ST’s Facebook page, they asked where exactly are these vacancies as it can’t be found anywhere, calling the Government to state which website or companies are these 60,000 jobs located.  Some pointed out that companies “put up for recruit but does not mean they really employ”.

Others said that most vacancies that they see are meant for blue-collared jobs like cleaner, driver, waiter and more. They added that recent job vacancy advertisements also offer low salary but demand long working hours.

A bunch of online users also asked if the Government can guarantee that the PMET jobs will be meant for locals and not foreign talents (FT). This is because they said most companies want cheap labour so they prefer to hire FTs, indicating that these 60,000 vacancies are of no use for the locals. Some even said that certain jobs have different requirements like must be able to write and speak in a foreign language. This then effectively eliminates the locals from applying for the job. As such, they mentioned that PMET jobs should be for locals and not FTs.