Hire workers from short-term Covid-19 roles, says MOM

SINGAPORE: Companies suffering manpower shortage should consider hiring people who performed short-term Covid-19 jobs, according to Manpower Minister Tan See Leng.

He believes that recruiting individuals who were hired as safe distancing ambassadors (SDAs) and vaccination centre workers could help employers address the manpower crunch as the Singaporean economy recovers.

"Many of these workers came from the F&B (food and beverage) and retail sectors, and would thus possess the relevant skillsets as well as experience," the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) official said.

Dr. Tan noted that resident employment increased by 71,300 in 2021 while the resident unemployment rate returned to pre-Covid levels.

"I am encouraged to see that many businesses have been able to build up their local workforce to meet their manpower needs," he added.

Companies that consider hiring workers who held Covid-19 roles are encouraged to consult Workforce Singapore (WSG) and NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), which will provide employment facilitation.

According to Dr. Tan, 6,400 individuals were hired in short-term COVID-19 jobs by the public sector, government-funded institutions, or private-sector medical care providers.

Around 1,200 of these workers will be "redeployed into longer-term roles," but the other 5,200 will be "looking for new jobs when their contracts end over the coming months."

Dr. Tan added that employers could also recruit trainees who have completed different attachment and training programs through the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package.

"There are 9,800 trainees who are still undergoing their programmes as at end February 2022, and they too will be looking for jobs in the near future," he said.

In addition, he noted that companies can attract a "larger pool of local manpower" by offering flexible work arrangements, such as "flexi-time, flexi-place, and part-time work."

"Part-time work can benefit both employers who need the manpower, and workers who will not only earn an income but can also gain work experience for the future," he added.

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