SINGAPORE: The Singapore Government has promised to take steps to provide more targeted financial assistance to low- and middle-income individuals who are involuntarily unemployed.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong earlier hinted at these efforts at the National Day Rally, expressing the government’s commitment to helping job seekers overcome challenges and enhance their skills to secure better long-term employment prospects.

The Forward Singapore report, released on Friday (27 Oct) detailed the government’s plan to extend aid to those who are most susceptible to financial hardship during periods of unemployment. This initiative will be accompanied by certain prerequisites, including a requirement for beneficiaries to actively seek employment on a monthly basis.

The central focus of this endeavor is to keep workers motivated in their pursuit of re-employment while addressing their financial needs. The benefits offered through this program will complement existing social assistance initiatives for disadvantaged families and the training grants available under the SkillsFuture program.

The report made clear that the government is emphasizing not just financial relief, but also active career guidance and employment support. The aim is to assist unemployed individuals in identifying and pursuing suitable career paths.

One notable recommendation that emerged during the Forward Singapore initiative’s dialogue sessions is the creation of a “career passport” for every job seeker. Participants said that such a personalized document would offer an analysis of an individual’s skills and qualifications, along with tailored recommendations for career development. In addition, there was a suggestion to offer personalized career coaching services to Singaporeans.

Career guidance experts have weighed in on the matter, highlighting the current gap in services available to job seekers in Singapore. Existing services primarily focus on helping individuals secure employment but often neglect the vital aspect of career guidance.

According to a career guidance counselor and lecturer who spoke to Channel 8 News, the importance of career self-management skills cannot be overstated. He said, “In addition to traditional services, such as resume writing, how to interview, and career assessment, what is more important is career self-management skills, which helps each citizen more deeply understand their career direction and their own personality.”

The counsellor added that this will help them avoid bringing negative thoughts into their work life and can have a more positive outlook of their own value and their purpose.