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Thursday January 24th 2019

Equal job opportunities a myth? (My paper 24 Sep)


I HAVE been looking for jobs both in the private and government sector since I was retrenched at the start of the financial crisis.

I sought help from my Member of Parliament, who advised me to lower my expectations and contact community development councils for assistance. I did so.

I also approached employment agencies and personal contacts, but the feedback I got was that younger human-resource (HR) executives do not want to consider jobseeking professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) above age 40, as they do not like to work with “uncles and aunties”.

Moreover, a few HR executives from government agencies told me, off the record, that their agencies were looking only for candidates from local universities in their late 20s to early 30s. This is disappointing, as the
Government has said that equal opportunity should be given to qualified jobseekers.

I understand that not many organisations are hiring due to the tight job market. But many of my friends are
facing the same problem. Most of us are highly qualified and  are able to handle various job responsibilities,
from those in administration to management. I have attended more than 50 skills- and knowledge-training
courses, which are comparable to those offered by the Employment  and Employability Institute.

I could share my skills and competencies with other jobless PMETs but there is no platform for me to do so.
Younger employees who are in management positions may have had good academic results but this does not translate to success on the job front.

China is “importing” senior management staff at a lower wage from Singapore to help strengthen its competitiveness, whereas Singapore appears to be going in the opposite direction.

What are jobless PMETs like myself to do, if biased selection criteria remain in hiring practices?

Mr Max Lim

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