According to a statistic published by the Ministry of Manpower last December, only 47.2% of PMETs managed to find re-employment within six months from losing their job. Extending the reference period to 12 months, the number rose to just 62.4%. This means that one in three PMETs are still not able to find a job after one year. It does not help that there are currently more job seekers than job vacancies available in Singapore.
Comprehensive efforts from our government to support workers
Our government has always been providing strong support to improve the employability of Singaporeans. Through schemes like the Career Support Programme, wages of PMETs are subsidised in the short term to reduce the cost of hiring them. In addition, the SkillsFuture movement subsidises the cost of courses so that Singaporeans are encouraged to pick up new skills. More recently, the National Jobs Bank is slated to be turned into a one-stop and non-stop online marketplace to present more job opportunities to Singaporeans. All of these efforts are highly commendable. The underlying philosophy is the well-known adage: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Bandboo complements our government’s schemes
Bandboo seeks to complement the efforts of our government to help retrenched workers through our Unemployment Assurance Community. Unlike schemes overseas which provide a certain percentage of the last drawn pay to the unemployed for an extended period of time, our community covers members who have been involuntarily displaced from their jobs with three months of salary up to a total of $18000. This payout is spread over five months. The objective of our Unemployment Assurance is to minimise disruption to the lives of the retrenched without eroding the urgency to look for a job. Bandboo also hopes that during this difficult period when Singapore is going through economic restructuring, our community spirit can be harnessed so that everyone can unite to support one another.
Sharing with the community
It is certainly wise to teach a man to fish so that we can feed him for a lifetime. However, with a prolonged slowdown in economic growth expected, it may be just as wise to share your catch with others today so that they will share with us too when we are in need.