ST reporter: New "sketchy" MOM's job portal will allay fears over job losses

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By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond

It was earlier reported that during the Parliament session on Monday (10 Oct), Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say offered his solution to address the rising resident unemployment and retrenchments in the wake of a weak labour market in Singapore (http://theindependent.sg/lim-tells-parliament-his-solution-to-local-unemployment-one-stop-non-stop-online-marketplace).

His solution is to transform the present National Jobs Bank into a “one-stop and non-stop online marketplace” that will help streamline the job hunt and career planning for Singaporean job seekers. Essentially, he is proposing to upgrade the current national Jobs Bank portal to Jobs Bank II (http://theindependent.sg/jobs-banks-effectiveness-is-questionable-so-how-would-one-stop-non-stop-jobs-bank-ii-help).

But many netizens are unimpressed, saying that MOM’s Jobs Bank does not mandate that companies hire Singaporeans. It only requires companies to put up its job advertisements for 2 weeks if they want to employ foreigners on EP. Presently, MOM does not impose any quota on companies for hiring foreign EP holders.

Yesterday, in light of brickbats thrown at Minister Lim and his new proposed “one-stop non-stop” Jobs Bank II idea by netizens, ST correspondent Toh Yong Chuan wrote an editorial to give his support to Minister Lim’s idea (‘Jobs bank update timely‘).

Mr Toh started by giving a “thumb up” to the present Jobs Bank, “The online jobs bank launched in July 2014 is already comprehensive. There are over 65,000 jobs now.”

He said that the timing of the upgrade announcement by Minister Lim is as important as the upgrade itself, with fears over the economy mounting in Singapore.

“For workers and job seekers, having the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) lending its weight to upgrade the jobs bank guarantees its success,” he said. “After all, no one has a better reading of the jobs market than the MOM. It knows the new jobs in the pipeline and which sectors are still hiring.”

But Mr Toh did admit that the details of the new portal are sketchy. Nevertheless, he thinks the intention of the government is “clear”.

Speaking as if he knows how Minister Lim thinks, he said, “With the MOM putting in effort to improve what is already a comprehensive (present) jobs bank, workers will be assured of getting help when the slowing economy eventually hits.”

“This should allay their fears over job losses,” he added.

Mr Toh did not address the greater concern of Jobs Bank by netizens that it is essentially a “wayang” site which would not stop companies from hiring foreigners over Singaporeans.

Netizens continue to pour cold water after Minister Lim announced Jobs Bank II

Meanwhile, netizens continue to be unconvinced about Jobs Bank. They do not share Mr Toh’s optimism that Minister Lim’s new idea will help allay citizens’ fears over job losses. On Sgtalk.org:

millionaire: Job bank is already a failure…still want to upgrade? Better change to Rob Bank since so many jobless…..

Oops: Even his own stat boards, GLCs like Singtel . . . use the jobsBank as Wayang to post for 2 weeks while the candidate is already found and completed interview process.

gemstar: So sia suay. I also do not wish to believes a single word he say. Treat it like singing karoake.

Baylo: It is just a useless worthless stupid website for companies to lie about vacancies every time.

jiaxu: They trust the employers and company to play by the book n rules…fat wayang hope

lvlrsSTI: So sad, LSS doesn’t even know Job Bank is a dummy… Employers will use this site to justify why they hired foreigners. They advertise job openings there for 14 days, ignore all the applications, then when 2 weeks are over, they tell MOM they can’t find suitable local expertise, therefore they have to hire FTs. They are so smart that all Singgies are fooled, even MOM is also fooled.

One lonely voice tried to lend support to Jobs Bank:

Casanova:I heard great feedback about this job bank

Then another replied him:

Baylo: Your ineffective feedback from PAP related group can be shelved aside. They love to lie. Did you ever ask at least 30 people who are jobless from Caliberlink??

CaliberLink (www.caliberlink.gov.sg) is a unit established by the new statutory board Workforce Singapore (WSG) to help jobless local PMETs. It organises workshops, and runs programmes to enhance job search skills and employability. It also tries to connect jobless PMETs to companies. WSG was reconstituted from the old WDA.