Singapore is tiptoeing on the brink of a technical recession. Outlook is depressing for all and it is expected to show up in more retrenchment across industries.
Redundancy stats by Ministry of Manpower is already showing record-high redundancy numbers (per 1,000 paid workers) over Q1 of 2016 compared to the past five years.
The only time it was significantly higher was in 2009 in which the global financial crisis brought the number of redundancy up to 12,760 over the same period.
The tripartite partners (NTUC, MOM, SNEF) are trying their best to make sure employers retrench responsibly but a breakup is a breakup no matter how nicely it was put across.
What's important is how you can quickly pick up the broken pieces of your heart and move on with life.
It isn't going to be easy but fortunately we are in Singapore. Here are nine different organisations you would want to approach when the unfortunate axe falls upon you:
If you're an NTUC member, you can call NTUC to find out which union you can approach. Your union can advise you on your rights, retrenchment benefits, and other avenues of assistance you can tap on.
Recently there were cases of how the Union of Power and Gas Employees (UPAGE) and Singapore Industrial & Services Employees' Union (SISEU) helped retrenched workers (including PME union members) get higher retrenchment payouts and help through e2i to find new jobs.
Graphic: retrenchment benefits
2. NTUC PME Unit
Catering exclusively to the growing Professionals, Managers, and Executives (PMEs), NTUC set up the PME Unit in 2011 to look out for PMEs on four fronts: Protection; Progression; Placement; and Privileges.
All workers (even non-NTUC members) can visit their two walk-in PME centres and one virtual centre to seek career advice and sign up for networking and learning events.
They pioneered the PME week in 2014 -- an annual week-long festivity which aims to advance PMEs' interests in the various stages of their lives. As part of PME week, NTUC's PME Unit organises various events that include industry-specific forums, lunch talks, evening talks, and roadshows.
e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) has helped more than 470,000 working people since 2008 in developing better skills, job matching, and improving productivity with companies.
e2i serves all segments of working people, from rank-and-file to PMETs. They regularly carry out executive workshops, employability camps, career fairs, and personalised career advisory services to help workers find their next calling.
CaliberLink helps local professionals become more career-resilient. They organise workshops and run programmes to enhance job search skills and employability.
Established by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, CaliberLink's initiatives aim to help professionals take greater ownership of their career through lifelong learning and training. They provide platforms that professionals can use for self-discovery, self-exploration, and self-enrichment.
Their current Adapt & Grow career series presents an exciting line-up of workshops, seminars, and career fairs. It serves to connect local jobseekers to hiring employers, and offers career preparatory workshops to help build better jobs and better careers for individuals.
5. Self-Help Group
You know the few dollars you pay to the respective funds? Time to put that money to work. Self-Help Group (SHG) includes the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Eurasian Association (EA), Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS), and Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA).
All of them provide a variety of assistance programs for the community, which also include job matching services.
CDAC, for example, has its own job portal to facilitate matching of jobs for jobseekers.
6. Community Development Council
The Community Development Councils (CDCs) were established by the PA Act (CDC Rules & Regulations 1997) to build a tightly-knit, compassionate and self-reliant community in Singapore. There are five CDCs currently -- Central Singapore CDC, North East CDC, North West CDC, South East CDC, and South West CDC.
CDC also has its own job placement centers to facilitate employment assistance for the unemployed at the grassroots level and tap on the grassroots initiatives and network to reach out to the unemployed.
Here are the job placement centers by North East CDC.
7. Private Placement Providers
The Private Provider Placement (PPP) programme is an expansion of WDA's career services through collaboration with private search and placement firms to help Singaporean Professionals, Managers, and Executives (PMEs) who face greater difficulties in finding employment.
WDA collaborates with two private sector firms to provide employment assistance to unemployed, Singaporean PMEs to enhance their employability and expand their employment opportunities.
The two WDA-Appointed Private Providers are:
• AGB Education Private Limited
• Meyer Consortium (comprising The Meyer Consulting Group, The CAP Consulting Group, and DN & Associates Executive Search)
8. Schools under PCP
Another initiative by WDA, Professional Conversion Programmes help jobseekers to re-skill themselves and to obtain the necessary knowledge and competencies to take on new jobs. Some programmes also have a work attachment which helps the individuals to acquire some real experience in the field.
This enhances the jobseekers' employability as they have the necessary competencies to take on the new jobs. Hence jobseekers, including mid-career individuals, can take on a new job with greater confidence.
Youth Employment & Advancement Hub (YEAH!) is a one-stop service centre that provides employment and advancement services to Singaporeans/Singapore Permanent Residents between 16 and 21 years old.
YEAH! assists young jobseekers, who are not actively engaged in education, employment, or training, to secure sustainable employment and achieve career goals.
They have job lists of positions primarily in the F&B, Retail, and Hospitality industries.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Adrian Tan is CEO of The Resource Group, a boutique HR Consultancy that focuses on helping SMEs. Before this, he was the MD of RecruitPlus which he co-founded in 2004 and led to two HR Vendor of the Year award. He was named the HR Entrepreneur of the Year by SHRI in 2013.