Share of Vacancies for PMETs Rose Last Year

While the number of job vacancies declined for the third year in a row last year, there were more job openings for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), reflecting the overall shift towards higher value-added jobs.

According to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Job Vacancies 2017 report, in all, there were 53,100 jobs up for grabs as of end-September last year.  This figure is down from 53,800 the year before and a peak of 67,400 in 2014.

The share of vacancies for PMETs, who make up about 56 per cent of the resident workforce, rose last year. Of all job openings, 49 per cent were for this group, up from 48 per cent the year before. More of these jobs were also in the information technology and engineering fields.

Software, Web and multimedia developers; teaching and training professionals; commercial and marketing sales executives; and management executives were the PMET occupations with the most openings available.

Employers cited the lack of necessary work experience as the top challenge in hiring local PMETs for hard-to-fill vacancies.

As for non-PMETs, the roles with the most vacancies were security guards; receptionists, customer service and information clerks; and shop sales assistants. Unattractive pay, having to work on weekends and public holidays, and having to do shift work were among the main reasons people were not attracted to non-PMET jobs that could not be filled for six months or more, said MOM.

Amid the push to encourage employers to hire workers based on skills, this year's report also included a new metric which looks at whether academic qualifications were the main consideration in hiring.

MOM noted that for four in 10 PMET vacancies, academic qualifications were not the main consideration in hiring. For non-PMET vacancies, nearly all, or nine in 10, were not dependent on academic qualifications.

Source: “Fewer job openings in 2017, with more for PMETs: Ministry of Manpower” (The Straits Times Online, 7 February 2018)

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